We Are Burdened with Sins Inherited from Our Ancestors

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1 Corinthians 16

Aquila and Priscilla, together with the church that meets in their house, send greetings in the name of the Lord.

Lamentations 2

The Lord had decided
to tear down the walls of Zion
    stone by stone.
So he started destroying
    and did not stop
until walls and fortresses
    mourned and trembled.

Inherited Sin and Karma

2. Breaking the Chain of Demerit

Teachings of Rev. Sun Myung Moon

For thousands of years our ancestors have been building up walls of sorrows, and as the days go by these walls are not getting lower; rather, through his many deceptions Satan has been raising the walls higher.
    Today all the people of the world have the responsibility to take down the walls of grudges and resentments their ancestors built up; we take this on as our responsibility. (1:305, December 23, 1956)
 
Original sin, personal sin, collective sin, and hereditary sin inherited from our ancestral line—we should cleanse all sin before we pass on to the spirit world. It doesn’t matter that you have become a follower of the Lord; an indemnity course remains for each individual. None of you has the same course. Some suffer a great deal; some even die on the way; while others have an easier time. Why? Everyone’s indemnity course differs. Although we may practice the same standard of faith, our paths are not the same because the amount of indemnity to be paid varies. (251:131, October 17, 1993)
 
We are burdened with sins inherited from our ancestors even though we personally did not commit them, and we are also responsible for collective sins that were committed by the nation or people we belong to. In a word, being a fallen person means being the result of six thousand years of fallen human history—a mixture of good and evil. We inherit good and evil characteristics from our ancestors, but since they lived in the world where there was more evil than good, we mostly inherit evil. It is no surprise that we end up adding to that evil, trapped in a vicious cycle.
    There is a story behind every sin, and someone was its cause. Maybe an ancestor of yours, while living on earth, gave much difficulty and pain to someone, and that person died carrying resentment. Now this resentful spirit comes down to you, a descendant of that ancestor, to get revenge. He could have gone to any of a number of descendants, but he alights on you. He influences you, driving you to the edge, until you commit the sin.
    Resentful spirits can also afflict you with sickness and pain. All modern diseases have spiritual causes connected to the sins of ancestors. By looking at the sicknesses and difficulties of descendants, we can infer about the life of their ancestors. If the ancestors stole from others or misused public things or money, their descendants may suffer from stomach problems. If they committed sins of lust and fornication, their descendants may suffer from genital diseases, or be unable to bear children, or  have difficulty being faithful, or get divorced. Ancestors who did not see things about others correctly and hurt them, or who misjudged others based on bad rumors and violated their hearts, will have descendants born blind, mute or deaf. In other words, according to the way the pain was given—to a certain part of the body—the descendants suffer with the same kind of troubles. The heavier the ancestors’ sins, the more difficult it is to heal the resulting sickness; it may even be incurable.
    If people on the earth do not clear up these sins through paying the required indemnity, the suffering is passed down to their children. Later, when those people come to the spirit world and watch their children suffer they regret that they did not clear things up for them. They lament, “If only I had borne my suffering on earth, my children would not need to suffer now.” Therefore, unless you clear up all the sins passed down from your ancestors, as well as your personal sins, your children cannot escape from sickness and pain. (Heung Jin Moon, Message from the Spirit World, January 1, 2002)
 
Your ancestors committed a great many sins. On top of it, how much more sin did you commit? If you truly knew the weight of it all, you would despair. Surely you should do your best to indemnify those sins [and leave a clean slate] for your descendants. If you cannot cleanse them completely, you should be willing to devote your life as a sacrificial offering. For example, you might marry an ugly woman and determine to make your life together with her better than the most handsome couple in the world. (116:150, December 27, 1981)
 
The altars of sorrow continuing for six thousand years or more are due to the mistakes of our ancestors,
but we fear we might leave that sorrow to our descendants by once again not fulfilling our responsibility today.
Today we learned that we are responsible to stop the history of misfortune in this generation and to dissolve the grief in Heaven’s heart unto joy. (8:262-63, February 7, 1960)
 
 

Happy Are the Righteous to Whom God Reveals His Secrets in Dreams

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1 Corinthians 16

13 Keep alert. Be firm in your faith. Stay brave and strong. 14 Show love in everything you do.

Lamentations 1

21 Everyone heard my groaning,
    but no one offered comfort.
My enemies know of the trouble
that you have brought on me,
    and it makes them glad.
Hurry and punish them,
    as you have promised.

Dreams

Between this world and the next is the world of dreams. Not all dreams are spiritual, but some definitely are, and they are often the most vivid and memorable. During such a dream, the spirit leaves the body for a time and mounts up into the spirit world, where it experiences various phenomena. some of these are of God and convey meaningful messages. other dreams are encounters with low or evil spirits; these include nightmares, sexual dreams and the like. these passages describe the spiritual process of dreaming and give instructions on how to discern whether a dream is from God. through a dream God can reveal life-changing information and guidance, as he did to Jacob and Joseph in the bible. thus, paying attention to significant dreams is an important discipline of the religious life.

Jacob… came to a certain place, and stayed there
that night, because the sun had set. Taking one
of the stones of the place, he put it under his
head and lay down in that place to sleep. And
he dreamed that there was a ladder set up on the
earth, and the top of it reached to heaven; and
behold, the angels of God were ascending and
descending on it! And behold, the l ord stood
above it and said, “I am the l ord , the God of
Abraham your father and the God of Isaac; the
land on which you lie I will give to you and to
your descendants… Behold, I am with you and
will keep you wherever you go, and will bring
you back to this land; for I will not leave you
until I have done that of which I have spoken
to you.” Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and
said, “Surely the l ord is in this place; and I did
not know it.”
Genesis 28.10-16

When a man lies down in bed, his soul leaves
him and begins to mount on high, leaving with
the body only the impression of a receptacle
which contains the heartbeat. The rest of it tries
to soar from grade to grade, and in doing so it
encounters certain bright but unclean essences.
If the soul is pure and has not defiled itself by
day, it rises above them, but if not, it becomes
defiled among them and cleaves to them and
does not rise any further. There they show it
certain things which are going to happen in
the near future, and sometimes they delude her
and show it false things. Thus it goes about the
whole night until the man wakes up, when it
returns to its place.
Happy are the righteous to whom God
reveals His secrets in dreams, so that they may
be on their guard against sin! Woe to the sinners
who defile their bodies and their souls! As for
those who have not defiled themselves during
the day, when they fall asleep at night their souls
begin to ascend, and first enter those grades
which we have mentioned, but they do not
cleave to them and continue to mount further.
The soul thus privileged to rise finally appears
before the gate of the celestial palace, and
yearns with all its might to behold the beauty
of the King and to visit His sanctuary… Thus
it is written, “With my soul have I desired Thee
in the night (Isaiah 26:9),” to pursue after Thee
and not to be enticed away after false powers.
Zohar 1.83a (Judaism)

God takes the souls of men at death; and those
that die not He takes during their sleep. Those
on whom He has passed the decree of death He
keeps back, but the rest He returns to their bod-
ies for a term appointed. Verily in this are signs
for those who reflect.
Qur’an 39.42

While one is in the dream state, the golden,
self-luminous being, the Self within, makes the
body to sleep, though He Himself remains for-
ever awake and watches by his own light the
impressions of deeds that have been left upon
the mind. Thereafter, associating Himself again
with the consciousness of the sense organs, the
Self causes the body to awake.

While one is in the dream state, the golden, self-
luminous being, the Self within, the Immortal
One, keeps alive the house of flesh with the help
of the vital force, but at the same time walks
out of this house. The Eternal goes wherever He
desires.

The self-luminous being assumes manifold
forms, high and low, in the world of dreams. He
may seem to be enjoying the pleasure of love,
or laughing with friends, or looking at terrifying
sights. Everyone is aware of the experiences; no
one sees the Experiencer.

Some say that dreaming is but another form
of waking, for what a man experiences while
awake he experiences again in his dreams. Be
that as it may, the Self, in dreams, shines by Its
own light…

The Self, having in dreams enjoyed the pleasures
of sense, gone hither and thither, experienced
good and evil, hastens back to the state of
waking from which he started.
Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 4.3.11-16 (Hinduism)

Once upon a time, Chuang Tzu dreamed that
he was a butterfly, a butterfly fluttering about,
enjoying itself. It did not know that it was
Chuang Tzu. Suddenly he awoke with a start
and he was Chuang Tzu again. But he did not
know whether he was Chuang Tzu who had
dreamed that he was a butterfly, or whether he
was a butterfly dreaming that he was Chuang
Tzu. Between Chuang Tzu and the butterfly
there must be some distinction. This is what is
called the transformation of things.
Chuang Tzu 2 (Taoism)

If there is a prophet among you, I the Lord
make myself known to him in a vision, I speak
with him in a dream.
Numbers 12.6-7

God’s messenger said, “A believer’s vision is a
forty-sixth part of prophecy, and what pertains
to prophecy cannot be false.” He held that
visions were of three types: ideas which come
from within, terrifying dreams caused by the
devil, and good news from God; so when one
sees anything he dislikes he should not tell it to
anyone, but should get up and pray.
Hadith of Bukhari and Muslim (Islam)

The vision flutters over a man as long as it is not
interpreted, but when it is interpreted it settles.
Tell it only to one who loves him or one who has
judgment.
Hadith of Abu Dawud (Islam)

Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I have had a dream,
and there is no one who can interpret it; and
I have heard it said of you that when you hear
a dream you can interpret it.” Joseph answered
Pharaoh, “It is not in me; God will give Pharaoh
a favorable answer.” Then Pharaoh said to
Joseph, “Behold, in my dream I was standing
on the banks of the Nile; and seven cows, fat
and sleek, came up out of the Nile and fed in
the reed grass; and seven other cows came up
after them, poor and very gaunt and thin, such
as I had never seen in all the land of Egypt. And
the thin and gaunt cows ate up the first seven
fat cows, but when they had eaten them no one
would have known that they had eaten them,
for they were still as gaunt as at the beginning.
Then I awoke. I also saw in my dream seven ears
growing on one stalk, full and good; and seven
ears, withered, thin, and blighted by the east
wind, sprouted after them, and the thin ears
swallowed up the seven good ears. And I told
it to the magicians, but there was no one who
could explain it to me.”
Then Joseph said to Pharaoh, “The dream
of Pharaoh is one; God has revealed to Pharaoh
what he is about to do. The seven good cows are
seven years, and the seven good ears are seven
years; the dream is one. The seven lean and
gaunt cows that came up after them are seven
years, and the seven empty ears blighted by the
east wind are also seven years of famine. It is
as I told Pharaoh, God has shown to Pharaoh
what he is about to do. There will come seven
years of great plenty throughout all the land of
Egypt, but after them there will arise seven years
of famine, and all the plenty will be forgotten
in the land of Egypt; the famine will consume
the land, and the plenty will be unknown in the
land by reason of that famine which will follow,
for it will be very grievous. And the doubling of
Pharaoh’s dream means that the thing is fixed by
God, and God will shortly bring it to pass.
Genesis 41.15-32

It Is the Most Blameworthy Ignorance to Believe that One Knows What One Does Not Know

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1 Corinthians 16

Greetings from the churches in Asia.

Aquila and Priscilla, together with the church that meets in their house, send greetings in the name of the Lord.

20 All of the Lord’s followers send their greetings.

Give each other a warm greeting.

Richard: House churches, or as Rev. Moon calls them, Home Churches should greet each other and work together. A Home Church is not just a particular house but 360 contiguous homes that are ministered to. Those who are doing community ministry are welcome to join the Tribal Messiah Association.

Isaiah 66

22 “For as the new heavens and the new earth
    which I will make
shall remain before me, says the Lord;
    so shall your descendants and your name remain.
23 From new moon to new moon,
    and from sabbath to sabbath,
all flesh shall come to worship before me,
says the Lord.

Life After Death and the Spirit World

The Spirit World

What is the spirit World? invisible to earthly eyes, it is not easily fathomed, yet it is a vital part of our existence and a place to which we will all journey one day. Father Moon teaches that knowing about the spirit world is second in importance only to knowing God. three definite notions about the spirit world are represented here: First, knowing the spirit world is essential to finding and keeping the proper direction in our earthly life. second, the spirit world corresponds by analogy to the earthly world. it maintains the quality of life and love cultivated on earth. its harmony or lack of harmony is the result of the love, or lack of love, of its citizens, who cultivated various tendencies and prejudices while on earth. third, the spirit world is composed of a multiplicity of societies and realms—though today these are in the process of being unified into one universal heaven

1. The Spirit World Corresponds to the Physical World

I [Paul] know a man in Christ who fourteen
years ago was caught up to the third heaven—
whether in the body or out of the body I do not
know, God knows. And I know that this man
was caught up into Paradise—whether in the
body or out of the body I do not know, God
knows—and he heard things that cannot be
told, which man may not utter.
2 Corinthians 12.2-4

No one in heaven or on the earth knows the
Unseen save God; and they know not when they
will be raised. Does [human] knowledge extend
to the Hereafter? No, for they are in doubt con-
cerning it. No, for they cannot see it.
Qur’an 27.65-66

To fear death, gentlemen, is no other than to
think oneself wise when one is not, to think one
knows what one does not know. No one knows
whether death may not be the greatest of all
blessings for a man, yet men fear it as if they
knew that it is the greatest of evils. And surely
it is the most blameworthy ignorance to believe
that one knows what one does not know.
Socrates, in Plato, Apology 29 (Hellenism)

God created the seven heavens in harmony.
Qur’an 71.15

What is here [the phenomenal world], the same
is there [in Brahman]; and what is there, the
same is here.
Katha Upanishad 2.1.10 (Hinduism)

Thou who exists beyond the wide firmament,
mighty in Thine own splendor and strong of
mind,
hast made, for our help, the earth a replica of
Thy glory.
Rig Veda 1.52.12 (Hinduism)

We have such a high priest, one who is seated
at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in
heaven, a minister in the sanctuary and the true
tabernacle which is set up not by man but by the
Lord… There are priests who offer gifts accord-
ing to the law. They serve a copy and shadow
of the heavenly sanctuary; for when Moses was
about to erect the tabernacle, he was instructed
by God, saying, “See that you make everything
according to the pattern which was shown to
you on the mountain.”
Hebrews 8.1-5

The system of Change is tantamount to Heaven
and Earth, and therefore can always handle and
adjust the way of Heaven and Earth. Looking
up, we observe the pattern of the heavens; look-
ing down, we examine the order of the earth.
Thus we know the causes of what is hidden and
what is manifest. If we investigate the cycle of
things, we shall understand the concepts of life
and death.
Essence and material force are combined
to become things. The wandering away of Spirit
becomes change. From this we know that the
characteristics and conditions of spiritual beings
are similar to those of Heaven and Earth and
therefore there is no disagreement between
them. The knowledge [of Spirit] embraces all
things and its way helps all under heaven, and
therefore there is no mistake. It operates freely
and does not go off course. It rejoices in Nature
and understands destiny. Therefore there is
no worry. As [things] are contented in their
stations and earnest in practicing kindness,
there can be love. It molds and encompasses all
transformations of Heaven and Earth without
mistake, and it stoops to bring things into
completion without missing any.
I Ching, Great Commentary 1.4.1-4 (Confucianism)


The End Aim Should Be God’s Glory and the Recreation of the Mind

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1 Corinthians 16

19 Greetings from the churches in Asia.

Aquila and Priscilla, together with the church that meets in their house, send greetings in the name of the Lord.

Isaiah 61
21 Your people will live right
    and always own the land;
they are the trees I planted
    to bring praise to me.
22 Even the smallest family
    will be a powerful nation.
I am the Lord,
and when the time comes,
    I will quickly do all this.

World Scripture and the Teachings of
Sun Myung Moon

Chapter 4

God’s Creation and Human Creativity

Creativity and Art

Artists, scientists and inventors take after the creativity of God. The universe was created beginning with an idea in the divine Mind, followed by the expenditure of energy to make that idea a reality. Likewise, artists and scientists give all their heart and effort to create a new existence that manifests the images and thoughts in their mind.
This section focuses on the arts, and so includes alongside scripture some selected passages from famous artists reflecting on the meaning of their art. Yet, creativity is not the sole possession of these elite personages; we find creativity in the athlete who plays exuberantly for the love of sport, in the merchant who finds better ways to market his wares, and in children as they dance and sing. Father Moon, who has established ballet companies and art schools and who himself loves to sing duets with his wife, is cognizant of the role the arts can play in creating a God-centered culture.
Topics include: art as harmony of opposites, art’s emotional core and emotional power; the muse, or spirituality of art; and the problem of art and values.

1. The Spirituality of Art

All art is concerned with coming into being.
Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics 6.4 (Hellenism)

Life is art.
The whole life of man is Self-Expression.
The individual is an expression of God.
We suffer if we do not express ourselves.
Precepts 1-4 (Perfect Liberty Kyodan)

We composers are projectors of the infinite into
the finite.
Edvard Grieg

The sole and end aim of figured bass should be
Nothing else than God’s glory and the recreation
of the mind.
Johann Sebastian Bach

True art is made noble and religious by the
mind producing it… the endeavor to create
something perfect; for God is perfection, and
whoever strives after perfection is striving for
something divine.
Michelangelo

Be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in
psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and
making melody to the Lord with all your heart.
Ephesians 5.18-19

And whenever the evil spirit from God was upon
Saul, David took the lyre and played it with his
hand; so Saul was refreshed, and was well, and
the evil spirit departed from him.
1 Samuel 16.23

Men can be evil—more evil than their animal
brothers can ever be—but they can also rise
in the ecstasy of creation. The cathedrals of
England stand as monuments to man’s worship
of what is above himself.
One does feel proud to belong to the human
race when one sees the wonderful things human
beings have fashioned with their hands. They
have been creators—they must share a little the
holiness of the Creator, who made the world
and all that was in it, and saw that it was good.
But He left more to be made.
Agatha Cristie

In eloquence there is magic, in knowledge
ignorance;
in poetry wisdom, and in speech weariness.
Hadith of Abu Dawud (Islam)

If I create from the heart, nearly everything
works; if from the head, almost nothing.
Marc Chagall

Let our artists be those who are gifted to discern
the true nature of the beautiful and graceful; then
will our youth dwell in a land of health, amid fair
sights and sounds, and receive the good in every-
thing; and beauty, the effluence of fair works,
shall flow into the eye and ear, like a health-giv-
ing breeze from a purer region, and insensibly
draw the soul from earliest years into likeness and
sympathy with the beauty of reason.
Musical training is a more potent instrument
than any other, because rhythm and harmony
find their way into the inward places of the
soul, on which they mightily fasten, imparting
grace, and making the soul of him who is rightly
educated graceful.
Plato, The Republic (Hellenism)

Nature Has Much to Teach Us

I Corinthians 12

12 My friends, you asked me about spiritual gifts. I want you to remember that before you became followers of the Lord, you were led in all the wrong ways by idols that cannot even talk. Now I want you to know that if you are led by God’s Spirit, you will say that Jesus is Lord, and you will never curse Jesus.

Daniel 5

All of King Belshazzar’s highest officials came in, but not one of them could read the writing or tell what it meant, and they were completely puzzled. Now the king was more afraid than ever before, and his face turned white as a ghost.

Richard: When you know God with certainty, there is no need to live in fear.

World Scripture and the Teachings of
Sun Myung Moon

Chapter 4

God’s Creation and Human Creativity

Nature as Teacher

Nature has much to teach us. From ants industriously storing food to birds sweetly calling for their mates, observing the ways of nature’s creatures provides lessons about the basic morality of life. cultivating the earth and caring for animals teaches about patience, sacrifice, and God’s dependable grace when the harvest yields its abundance. Father Moon teaches that through plants and animals God provided even the earliest humans with sufficient instruction to live a life of love and value.

But ask the beasts, and they will teach you;
the birds of the air, and they will tell you;
or the plants of the earth, and they will teach
you;
and the fish of the sea will declare to you.
Who among all these does not know
that the hand of the l ord has done this?
Job 12.7-9

After the sacred volumes of God and the
Scriptures, study, in the second place, that great
volume of the works and the creatures of God.
Francis Bacon 5

Have you considered the soil you till?
Do you yourselves sow it, or are We the
Sowers?
Did We will, We would make it broken orts,
and you will remain bitterly jesting—
“We are debt-loaded; nay, we have been
robbed.”
Have you considered the water you drink?
Did you send it down from the clouds, or did
We send it?
Did We will, We would make it bitter; so why
are you not thankful?
Have you considered the fire you kindle?
Did you make its timber to grow, or did We
make it?
We ourselves made it for a reminder,
and a boon to the desert-dwellers.
Qur’an 56.63-73

Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat
falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone;
but if it dies, it bears much fruit.
John 12.24

Let us know, let us press on to know the Lord ;
his going forth is sure as the dawn;
he will come to us as the showers,
as the spring rains that water the earth.
Hosea 6.3