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)
 
 

There Is No Need to Worry About What to Eat

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2 Kings 8

While Gehazi was telling him that Elisha had brought a dead boy back to life, the woman and her son arrived.

“Here’s the boy, Your Majesty,” Gehazi said. “And this is his mother.”

Lamentations 1

19 I called out to my lovers,
    but they betrayed me.
My priests and my leaders died
while searching the city
    for scraps of food.

Heaven

3. Heaven’s Delights

Teachings of Rev. Sun Myung Moon

What is it like to live in the other world? There is no need to worry about what to eat, where to live or what to wear. Anything is possible just by thinking about it or wishing it. People eat in the spirit world. They can feel the pulse in the veins. Although theirs is a spiritual body, they can feel it just the same as the pulse in a physical body.
    Whatever you want to eat, it immediately appears. Make a list of the foods you would like to enjoy, and they will be set out on the table before your eyes. Where does it come from? The spirit world is active and self-organizing; it assembles the elements that are needed. What is the governing and active force that can mobilize the whole? It is not power, nor is it knowledge or money. It is love, only love.
    God is supreme, yet if you call for Him with deep and heart-felt sincerity, He immediately replies, “Yes, my child. What do you want?” If you ask, “Where are you?” God answers, “Where else could I be, other than in your heart?” God is the origin of all creation. God is in the root of heart. In heaven, if you wish, you can hold celebrations millions of times a day. In the ecstasy of love, whatever you desire is done at your command. (194:42, October 15, 1989)
 
Dogs can follow their masters to the heavenly realms. Pets and beloved articles can accompany their owners wherever they go. (78:337, June 10, 1975)
 
Are there automobile factories in the other world? Here on earth, people are proud of their Mercedes Benzes. Will you brag about your car in the spirit world? Cars are not necessary over there…
    By the power of your imagination alone, you can have anything you want. If you wish for a car encrusted with diamonds, it will appear. Yet why would you need a car? Even without a car, you can travel billions of light years in an instant. As long as you have the heart of true love, that is enough. (207:94-95, November 1, 1990)
When God created this vast universe, there were neither cars nor food. Yet, just as the Creator God made all kinds of things to realize the ideal of true love, we too, centering on love, can create by exercising our original innate powers and abilities.
    Centering on love, when you think of something in your mind, whatever you name will appear before your eyes. You can gather millions of people for a banquet and request particular dishes, and they will appear on the table. If you want to wear a golden formal gown, you can have it, too. How fantastic! After such a delicious meal, your tongue might hang out!
    What would your tongue do at that point? It wants to taste true love. It wants to reach a higher plane, jumping up and up, exclaiming, “I like it! I like it! That is enough for me. Now I want to enjoy these things with my loving spouse.” As long as you are standing within love’s sovereignty, standing as one of God’s companions, whatever you desire can be realized in a moment.
    Everything looks beautiful, everything sounds wonderful, and you feel content with everything around you. Sleeping is sound and sweet, and waking up is wonderful.
    Yet in the spirit world you do not need sleep. Even in the middle of the night, every cell of your body can dance. Each cell is like your partner; it dances accompanied by melodies whose beauty far surpasses any earthly music…
    In heaven, love connects you with everything. You breathe the air of love, eat the food of love, and wear the clothes of love. God your Parent provides you with all these, out of His true love. (217:293, June 2, 1991)
 
Do you think that people urinate in the spirit world? I am telling you that we do; when you get there you will see for yourself. What about defecating? Yes, we do, but afterwards the waste immediately returns to its elements. [There are 107 known elements in the universe.] Hence, it is not necessary to clean it up. With a mind of love, all you do is make a motion with your hand and all the waste returns to its origin. (212:30, January 1, 1991)
 
 

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

Even Solomon in all His Glory Was Not Arrayed Like One of These

James 1

From James, a servant of God and of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Greetings to the twelve tribes scattered all over the world.[a]

My friends, be glad, even if you have a lot of trouble. You know that you learn to endure by having your faith tested. But you must learn to endure everything, so that you will be completely mature and not lacking in anything.

If any of you need wisdom, you should ask God, and it will be given to you. God is generous and won’t correct you for asking. But when you ask for something, you must have faith and not doubt. Anyone who doubts is like an ocean wave tossed around in a storm. 7-8 If you are that kind of person, you can’t make up your mind, and you surely can’t be trusted. So don’t expect the Lord to give you anything at all.

Lamentations 4

The purest gold is ruined
    and has lost its shine;
jewels from the temple
    lie scattered in the streets.
These are Zion’s people,
    worth more than purest gold;
yet they are counted worthless
    like dishes of clay.

World Scripture and the Teachings of
Sun Myung Moon

Chapter 4

God’s Creation and Human Creativity

Beauty

Beauty abounds in nature: the majestic mountains, the delicate hues of a flower, the brilliant colors of a sunset, the sparkle of dew on the morning grass. there is harmony of shape and color, light and shadow, sound and silence.
Harmony is an aspect of beauty. harmony is inherent in the very structure of the universe. the ancients found mathematics to be the basis of music, and today scientists are learning more about the “music of the spheres” in the motions of the stars and the properties of the atom. singing birds and chirping insects sound nature’s music as they seek for love. they are expressing its inherent harmony; human music cannot compare with it. the dissonance of our fallen condition condemns us to strike discordant notes. Were that human beings as harmonious as nature!
Human beings, God’s supreme creations, should manifest supreme beauty. people sing, dance, and create beautiful art, but more than that, we find beauty in one another, in expressions of love. there is inner beauty in a loving couple, a filial child caring for aged parents, and a loyal citizen making sacrificial efforts for the welfare of his or her nation. the beauty that people manifest in these ways also glorifies God, who delights to see beauty abounding in his works. this inner beauty becomes apparent in the spirit world—where beauty abounds for those who are worthy.

  1. The Beauty of Nature

Nature is the art of God.
Dante Alighieri

Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they
neither toil nor spin; yet I tell you, even Solomon
in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
Matthew 6.28-29

God is beautiful and loves beauty
Hadith of Muslim (Islam)

It is God who has made for you the earth as a
resting place, and the sky as a canopy, and has
given you shape—and made your shapes beau-
tiful—and has provided for you sustenance of
things pure and good; such is God, your Lord.
So glory to God, the Lord of the Worlds!
Qur’an 40.64

Known by the name of Protectress
is the Goddess girt by Eternal Law;
by her beauty are these trees green
and have put on their green garlands.
Atharva Veda 10.8.31 (Hinduism)

The One who, Himself without color,
by the manifold application of His power
Distributes many colors in His hidden purpose,
And into whom, its end and its beginning, the
whole world dissolves—
He is God!
Svestasvatara Upanishad 4.1 (Hinduism)

Beauty is before me.
Beauty is behind me.
Beauty is below me.
Beauty is above me.
I walk in beauty.
Navajo Song (Native American Religions)

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

In the cosmic Void is He absorbed,
Where plays the unstruck mystic music—
Beyond expression is this miraculous wonder.
Adi Granth, Gauri Sukhmani 23.1,
M.5, p. 293 (Sikhism)

The origin of music lies far back in time. It arises
out of two poles: the two poles give rise to the
powers of darkness and light. The powers of dark-
ness and light undergo change; the one ascends
into the heights, the other sinks into the depths;
heaving and surging they combine to form bod-
ies. If they are divided they unite themselves
again; if they are united they divide themselves
again. That is the eternal way of heaven. Heaven
and earth are engaged in a circle. Every ending
is followed by a new beginning; every extreme is
followed by a return. Everything is coordinated
with everything else. Sun, moon, stars move in
part quickly, in part slowly. Sun and moon do
not agree in the time which they need to com-
plete their path. The four seasons succeed each
other, bringing heat and cold, shortness and
length, softness and hardness. That from which
all beings arise and in which they have their ori-
gin is the Great One; that whereby they form
and perfect themselves is the duality of dark-
ness and light… Sound arises out of harmony.
Harmony arises out of relatedness. Harmony
and relatedness are the roots from which music,
established by the ancient kings, arose.
Book of Ritual 19 (Confucianism)


Every Part of This Soil is Sacred

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Revelation 5

Then they sang a new song,

“You are worthy
    to receive the scroll
and open its seals,
    because you were killed.
And with your own blood
    you bought for God
people from every tribe,
    language, nation, and race.
10 You let them become kings
    and serve God as priests,
and they will rule on earth.”

Lamentations 1

20 Won’t you look and see
    how upset I am, our Lord?
My stomach is in knots,
and my heart is broken
    because I betrayed you.
In the streets and at home,
    my people are slaughtered.

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.
22 Don’t let their evil deeds
    escape your sight.
Punish them as much
as you have punished me
    because of my sins.
I never stop groaning—
    I’ve lost all hope!

World Scripture and the Teachings of
Sun Myung Moon

Chapter 4

God’s Creation and Human Creativity

The Sanctity of Nature

2. Alive with Consciousness, Endowed with Purpose

No creature is there crawling on the earth,
no bird flying with its wings,
but they are nations like yourselves.
Qur’an 6.38

I say: Just as the consciousness of a man born
blind, deaf and dumb is not manifest, likewise the
consciousness of beings of earth-body [e.g., miner-
als] is also not manifest. Nevertheless such a man
experiences pain when struck or cut by a weapon,
and so also do the beings of earth-body. Likewise
for water-beings… fire-beings… plants… ani-
mals… air beings: their consciousness and expe-
riences of pain are actual, though not manifest.
Acarangasutra 1.28-161 (Jainism)

If these [my disciples] were silent, the very
stones would cry out.
Luke 19.40

Every part of this soil is sacred in the estimation
of my people. Every hillside, every valley, every
plain and grove, has been hallowed by some sad
or happy event in days long vanished.
Even the rocks, which seem to be dumb
and dead as the swelter in the sun along the
silent shore, thrill with memories of stirring
events connected with the lives of my people,
and the very dust upon which you now stand
responds more lovingly to their footsteps than
yours, because it is rich with the blood of our
ancestors
Chief Seattle (Native American Religion)

The explanation of the goodness of creation is
the goodness of God… Nevertheless, certain
heretics remain unconvinced, on the ground that
many things in creation are unsuitable and even
harmful to that poor and fragile mortality of the
flesh, which of course is no more than the just
penalty for sin. The heretics mention, for exam-
ple, fire, cold, wild beasts, and things like that,
without considering how wonderful such things
are in themselves and in their proper place and
how beautifully they fit into the total pattern of
the universe, making their peculiar contributions
to the commonweal of cosmic beauty. Nor have
they observed how valuable they are even to us
if only we use them well and wisely. Consider, for
instance, poison. It is deadly when improperly
used, but when properly applied it turns out to
be a health-giving medicine.
Saint Augustine, City of God 11.22 (Christianity)