By Dr. Sung Han Lee
Former President, Unification Thought Institute
The following testimony was given by Dr. Sang Hun Lee at an advanced seminar on Unification Thought sponsored by New ERA in Athens, Greece—the birthplace of Western civilization—in June 1984. The audience was composed of members and non-members.
Dr. Lee is the author of Communism: Critique and Counterproposal, Unification Thought and Explaining Unification Thought. His mission was to develop Father’s revelation in a systematic, philosophical direction. Quietly, almost behind the scenes, Dr. Lee worked to lay the foundation for Father’s VOC work and our movement’s outreach to the academic world. His testimony is of his struggle to go beyond his intellectual understanding, to connect with and experience the heart of God, and how he finally could do so.
Part 2 (Click here to read Part 1 which was posted last week)
At this point in his testimony, Dr. Lee is describing the vision he had while breaking a 21-day fast.
Again the scene changed. Now an old person and a child were walking up a mountain path. I questioned its meaning, and again a reply came. “This is the scene of Abraham going toward the hill in Moriah, in order to offer Isaac as a sacrifice.” Once more, the content of a speech by Father Moon came to mind. Abraham was given only one son, and at the age of I00, no less. God ordered him to offer that child as a sacrifice. In fact, Abraham would much rather have given his own life than take Isaac’s. Therefore, in this scene, Abraham looked so serious. I thought that Abraham also had to overcome his humanistic anguish.
Once more the scene changed. Moses stood on top of a mountain, looking at a distant place absentmindedly, his white beard being blown by the wind. He then wearily descended the mountain, his head hung down, a very troubled expression on his face. Associating the whole image with the words of Father Moon, I could interpret the situation myself. Living altogether for 120 years, Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt with untold hardship. His one desire was to lead this beloved people into Canaan. This he could never forget. However much the Israelites opposed and complained against him, he did not hate them, and with earnest hope he entertained the desire to lead them until the end of their journey. By God’s order, Moses climbed Mount Sinai and completed a 40-day fast. When he received the tablets from God and returned below, however, the people had set up Aaron as their leader and erected a golden calf as their god. They were worshiping it. Moses witnessed this blasphemy as he descended the mountain. He became so enraged that he smashed the tablets into pieces. Then, perhaps to console Moses, God said that He would destroy all of these people, that such a faithless generation should not be tolerated, and that He would raise up a new nation by multiplying Moses’ descendants. Moses prayed earnestly, however: “Why will you destroy these people? Aren’t they the ones who have endured persecution for so long? Haven’t you guided them here? Why will you destroy them?” Because of this prayer, God refrained from destroying the Israelites. It was Moses’ fervent hope and unforgettable wish that he continue with his people to the land of Canaan.
Yet Moses ultimately became furious with the constant faithlessness of the Israelites, especially at Kadesh-Barnea, when he struck the rock twice in his anger. Because of this Moses was called by God to Mount Pisgah. When he was looking over to the land of Canaan from afar, God said to him, “You cannot enter into Canaan. You must die outside of the land of Canaan, in the same way your ancestors did.” Moses wanted so much to enter this land, but he could do nothing about it, since these were God’s strict orders. Calmly he walked down to his dying place.
When I saw this scene I was overcome with sympathy. I realized that the path of someone who is called by God is such a miserable one. Since Moses had sacrificed everything for the accomplishment of God’s will, he would absolutely obey the order from Heaven. I felt infinite sympathy for his lonely face, and tears streamed from my eyes.
I then saw a vision of Jesus going the way of crucifixion. Immediately I recalled the accounts of Jesus which I had heard from Father Moon, and again I melted into tears. Jesus came to earth as the Savior, the Messiah. He whom all the earth was to excitedly welcome was rejected in his lifetime. His family neglected him, the leaders of the Jewish religion opposed him, and the Jewish people disassociated themselves from him. Finally, he had nowhere to go. He was alone, a solitary figure for 33 years, with no one to rely upon for understanding. Yet he had the deepest feelings of love for his people. If he saw a cloud floating in the sky, he would say, “Cloud in heaven, please understand my suffering heart.” Or speaking to the trees, he would say, “Who can know this anguish of mine? You know it!” Whether wandering along the coast of Galilee, or speaking to a Samaritan woman, he must have led a very lonely life. In the early years of the church, Father Moon gave such a sermon about Jesus, and he wept as he spoke, the whole time.
When I saw this scene of Jesus I could not keep the tears from welling up in my eyes. It was clear how painfully hard the path of the Messiah was.
The scene was changed again. A man was creeping up a rocky mountainside which appeared to be like a steep precipice. As he slipped down and crawled back, once, twice, again and again, his hands began to bleed, leaving crimson stains on the rocks behind him. A wind picked up and soon grew into a storm. I asked myself who this person was, and I instantly realized that this was Father Moon, and that the storm meant persecution. At that moment I cried out loudly in anguish. This is the man who has come to free humankind. I myself have been a witness to it. I became filled with indignation and intense pain, asking why those whom this very man came to heal persecute him so tremendously. In this state of heart, I broke into stricken cries. And I cried, and cried, and cried. I felt a sharp pain tearing at my intestines, breaking my heart, as if there were a knife inside my body.
At this moment another surge of sadness came over me. I felt that God was so miserable and pitiful. I felt as if I could see the image of God, grieving and looking very shabby, walking with many righteous men. I felt intuitively that when the righteous men fell down, when Jesus was dying on the cross, and while watching Father Moon’s suffering, God was weeping bitterly. With the image of that miserable God I wept once again. This was the first such experience I had ever had. Staring at the forsaken figure of Father Moon and of God in misery, I lamented for an hour or more, unable to stop the stream of tears.
Finally, I became calm. I was very quiet. After a few moments I heard a voice from Heaven say, “Sang Hun Lee, eat.” Immediately I realized that it was God’s voice. I ate the fish. When I remembered the appeal of that fish, however, it stuck in my throat and I needed to make extra effort to swallow it down. Thus I gained strength.
When I awoke the next morning, all the scenery had been transformed. Everything was so beautiful! And yet, everything seemed to be clothed in a veil of sadness. Beautiful, but sad. I sensed that the trees were weeping even while they appeared so elegant. To me, nature was not only exquisite but also good and true. I used to hear from Father Moon that truth, beauty, and goodness can be found on the basis of love. I realized it was true through my own experience. If we look at the world from the viewpoint of God, who sees all things with compassion, then we come to the understanding that everything is true, good, and beautiful. Through that experience I felt that I had grasped the truth about the whole universe, the truth about its goodness and its beauty.
Even during the fast I saw patients, although my body had become very weak and I had to take frequent rests. Since the day after the experience I mentioned above, I began to have a problem. As soon as I saw a patient coming into my office, tears would fill my eyes, because I became so overwhelmed with tenderness for him. I wished that I did not have tears in my eyes while I was with my patients, but mercilessly, during visits the tears would stream down my face. The patients would ask, “Dr. Lee, are you in pain? Is there something wrong?”, and they would try to console me. When I could finally hold back the tears enough to see my patients off, I would return to my room and begin weeping again. I realized that God’s children had been brought into such a pitiful situation. Who among them would truly know that God exists or that the Messiah has come on earth? Without knowing this at all, everyone was working desperately just to live, becoming sick in the meantime. My heart became filled with compassion toward each patient.
About a month later I climbed a mountain behind my house, and saw some children cutting branches from a pine tree. The moment I said to myself they should not cut them off, my arms began to ache. I wondered what kind of phenomenon this was. Also while on a bus that same winter, I passed a snow-covered field and saw a dog attacking a chicken. The moment the dog bit the chicken, I felt the dog’s teeth go into my chest, and I experienced excruciating pain. I felt intense pity for the chicken. I have realized, consequently, that within all created things there exists “heart,” although it may not be of the same dimension as the “heart” of man.
From that time onward I genuinely changed, and I have come to ask many times since, “Who is this person who has been able to recreate so critical, intellectual, and cold a personality as mine into that of a tearful man?” It was through the guidance of Father Moon that so immense a revolution in so short a time occurred within my personality. But it is not only I who changed like this; many other Unification Church members have turned around like me. And such changes will most certainly continue in the future. The Principle is excellent; but through my own experience as well, I can witness to the greatness of Father Moon.
Up until the time of his ascension to Heaven a good many years ago, Dr. Lee inspired many to study and research Unification Thought.