As I think back to when I was young I remember I was very curious about my country and the eight provinces of Korea. I thought Korea was ideal when I looked at pictures of the country but I also felt there was a lot of suffering. It was hard for people in the villages to make a living. The more difficult the environment, the more effort is needed to make a good living. It is difficult to carve out a living in a place where there are mountains and rocks and not much fertile land. Man's external environment is given to him. He cannot choose it.
On the internal level, in history there are many factors which make it difficult for a people to preserve their identity without being swallowed up by enemy cultures. If we can see how difficult it is for a physical nation to survive and maintain its identity, how much harder must it be for a people who live by religion in the spiritual realm to survive. To find identity and place in the spiritual realm, a man must invest even more.
A nation must go through difficulties to find its true home. For an individual, it is much more difficult to find his true home in the spiritual world. A person's true home is in the spiritual world with God.
Man has body and mind. Can the hometown of body and mind be different? Where is your mind or heart's hometown? Where is the place it wants to find permanent rest?
Father left his physical hometown many decades ago. He has lived in many prisons. But when he saw the sunlight come through the prison bars it was the same sunlight in Japan, America or Korea and he always felt great joy. In prison he met his enemies. In Japan, he met Japanese people and thought, "Even though they are my enemies they are close to me." Through his prison experiences Father learned to love the people of that nation.
Where is hometown? It is where our parents are. Parents can give so much. If you are sad, parents can give you comfort; if you are happy, you can share happiness with them.
Your relationship to your parents is an eternal one. We always long for eternal and unchanging relationships. Our relationship to our parents is wherever we go. The true companions of our heart are our parents. We are longing for a partner who does not change his or her loyalty to us. For me, this point is with my parents; for them, it is their parents and so on. If we follow the line back, we come to the ancestor of mankind. Who does the ancestor of mankind relate to? To God. Our longing to return to our hometown, the homesickness we all feel is related to that original root.
As we grow and go through education from kindergarten to university, it seems we go further away from our hometown, from that beginning point. But the further we go the more lonely we become and the more we long, perhaps unconsciously, to return to that beginning. Our memories from high school are usually fonder than those of university, and so it goes back. Our fondest memories are when we went holding our parent's hand and met our kindergarten teacher for the first time.
The animals have extremely strong maternal instincts. In my hometown the magpies built their nests very cleverly. It seemed as if they knew ahead of time what the weather that year would be. They seemed to know if there were going to be many storms that year. They built their nests according to how the weather was going to be. The birds put so much energy into making their nests just to protect their babies. Every day I went to see them. At first, they protested but later they seemed to be glad to see me.
Nature is like a textbook. The memories I have of studying nature in my hometown are unforgettable. I caught so many frogs, big ones and small ones and studied them. I made a pond at home and brought them there. But sometimes in the morning they died. I felt so sad and said to the frog, "Your mother will be so sad. Why did you die? You shouldn't have done that"
In spring the mountains were full of flowers. It was so beautiful. Just sitting against a tree in the mountains in spring, dozing, was an unforgettable memory. The basic things we learn are in our hometown. As a child you played and fell down and your nose bled and you came home and got told off by your mother. Then she would wipe your nose and comfort you. When my mother comforted me and I said, "Thank you, mother," it was a great feeling. I could feel that she was proud of me.
I had many brothers and sisters and lots of relatives. We had many beautiful customs. For example, when one relative married and brought his bride to the village, for many days the family members would take turns according to their closeness to the relative to give feasts. So for many days I could go around without feeling hungry. The hospitality and happiness people displayed was beautiful.
When my mother sent one of her daughters to marry, it was like a thief stole the daughter. She would cry for days before she had to send her daughter away to join her husband's family. It was as if she were losing her daughter forever. Today's Unification Church parents have it good. You can be reassured about letting daughters go with the husband that Father chooses. Another thing I cannot forget is watching my mother working. She worked so hard her legs swelled. When I grabbed her legs I could feel how swollen they were. When I pressed my hands against her leg the mark remained for a long time. But she still kept on running around. I was deeply moved by her devotion.
In your hometown you learn the basic things of life, how to put on your clothes and so on. I remember when my mother scolded me, for example when I climbed up a tree. once she hit me very hard but afterwards she cried and said to my brothers and sisters she was sorry. But I think she did well. I think when parents hit you they feel even more hurt than the child. These incidents of being spanked or hurting yourself become strong, fond memories and make you feel so sentimental about your childhood.
I can see now that the things I learned with my family and my relatives and neighbors gave me the education and strength to build up the Unification movement. You cannot imagine how much I long to return to my hometown. This desire was very strong in me even from very early on when I went to school in Seoul. In my first summer vacation I naturally longed to go home but I didn't. I denied the longing and purposely did not go home.
All of us have so many childhood memories. We long to go home. In the spiritual world we will need a museum exhibiting the places we loved. It's a beautiful experience to return to a place you loved long ago and find it the same, to find a tree as you remembered it.
We have to preserve the things that remind us of our past. In the Unification Church, too, we must do the same. Would it be better for you if we preserve the original church building or tear it down and build a new one? Which would give you more pleasure? You would be happy to find things as they were when the movement began. Would you like to go to my hometown? But I won't let you go. If you still want to go, then I'll let you. You have to have such a strong desire. Why don't we have a church museum? We have to make a museum that shows the history of the church from the beginning. Don't you think God himself would like to visit such a museum?
Our hometown is the place where we can find the center of the foundation of our life. Why is that? Because our parents are there and their eternal unchanging love is there. What about orphans who have no physical hometown? We should not pity them so much. Their hometown is where their fond memories begin. When they are blessed, they find the partner who loves them and their life can begin.
When I was in school I never ate lunch. I felt I couldn't because there were so many who couldn't afford it. At that time I was teaching Sunday school in Sobingodong in Seoul where they used to have ice houses for the collection of ice from the Han river. (Sobingo means "east ice house.") In those days when I was a high-school student teaching Sunday school, my speeches were much more interesting than now. When I cried in front of them, they cried and when I said something funny, they exploded in laughter.
I didn't eat lunch but brought food to the poor people in order to share their suffering. I didn't return to my hometown in order that I could share the loneliness of people and of God.
When you leave your hometown, like Father went to Seoul, it is like going into exile. It was the same when Father went from Seoul to America. What about when you go to the spiritual world? Why is it that even in the spiritual world people feel that their home is still that tiny spot on the earth? It is because of their parents. The love of parents is at the root of your love for your nation and the world. When you really love your country it is like loving your parents and brothers and sisters.
The ideal world is where everybody is at home, where the world is your hometown. The world of heart is the world of your parents. All the people who have developed the heart of parents make up the ideal world. In the spiritual realm, a world where there is no nationality is forming. Here we still have France, Germany, England and the different nations. But in the spiritual world, in the world of the heart of the parents, there is no longer nationality like that. People are welcomed as if they are all members of one family.
The lesson we can learn from the fond memories of our hometown is that the fond memories are where there is love. Because man is born from love, the place where we meet love for the first time is where we are happy.
If you are a member of the Unification Church you have to live like Father. This year alone we have spent hundreds of millions of won for the benefit of the Korean people. It cost a great deal to send the Korean professors to America. Now they want us to send school principals. Who will pay for it? President Kim, will you sell your house if necessary to send these people to America? Everybody in the church who lives at the expense of the church and gives nothing will have no place to stand. You have to give more than you take. I have come not to leave debt behind, but to leave debtors. Maybe you have not experienced this, but when you come out and proclaim, "I have come to make debtors of love, to give the love of True Parents," and declare it in front of history and mankind the response from the spiritual world will be, "Amen! Amen!"
Don't you think the person who has invested everything and has gone through all kinds of hardship, not allowing himself peaceful sleep throughout his life for the sake of establishing true love, will he not be welcomed by all the spiritual world?
You know how difficult it is to support a wife and children. But because they are your loved ones, you forget the difficulties and you are happy. In the same way if you can save one person by your effort and suffering you feel so worthwhile that you forget the troubles. If one husband, through his dedication and sacrifice, can bring salvation to his wife, liberate her from misery and sin, wouldn't he be glad to do it?
The longing of our original heart for our hometown is actually a longing for a universal home town where all the directions of the universe are represented in a three dimensional way. This home is at the center of true love. The mission of our life is to find and go to this universal hometown.
Even when you think back to your childhood home and the friends you wrestled and fought with and who made your nose bleed, you still long for them even though they were your enemies at the time. You have no feelings of animosity, but rather you long to be with them. When Father went to prison in America he was actually longing for the prison in Korea. He felt tremendous love for the people who had put him in prison in Korea. He felt that prison is not a place of misery. It is a place where you can learn to love your enemy. Going to prison, Father felt he could understand Jesus who was able to love his enemy. It is a heavenly principle for us to want to go to our hometown, the universal hometown where you can live together with God. Throughout our whole life we are marching to find the eternal parent who can give us our eternal hometown. Let us pray.
Father prays: Father, we have to understand our life is a way of returning to our hometown. It is a course of returning to the hometown of our hearts. We know, Father, when we are investing more of our effort into returning to the spiritual home of our heart to establish a spiritual home for mankind beyond any national boundaries, beyond any narrow borders, we know Your blessing is with us to a much greater degree than if we had just concentrated on our physical and national hometown. Father, please help the members of the Unification Church to become people who can, without any feeling of shame, go the way to establish the home for all mankind, the home for the original mind. Father, please make them strong and courageous on this way, that they may become your proud sons and daughters. All of this we pray in the name of the True Parents. Amen.