Those Who Will Prevail
Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon, March 12, 1975, Barrytown, New York.
Let us be ones who will prevail, is my topic this morning. History is proof that evil men as well as good men are remembered by posterity long after their life on Earth. To be remembered by people in later generations means that what was done and what was left for the benefit of people are remembered. Let’s take the example of Jesus. In his own day, nobody thought that what he did was going to be remembered by later generations, so people persecuted him.
In Christianity or in any other religion, what the members of the religions did was for the benefit of mankind, centered on God’s will. That’s why their deeds are remembered until now. They had power to overcome any difficulties and hardship. The power of faith in God is what made it possible. So in history the more people opposed the religious people the more dynamic the religious people became in their deeds. Put pressure on those people and they show great vitality. The same thing applies to our everyday life. The stronger people and the more courageous people will remain and survive persecution and difficulty. Those kinds of people would rise again and again after much oppression. As you all remember, Christianity was so strong that its people fought against oppressing powers in the face of difficulties and persecutions; they worked underground to survive, and they prevailed.
With that in mind, whenever I am contemplating what we are going to do, I ask myself, “Will our people remain?” There’s no question that if we are faced with a warm welcome, we are going to stay. But in the face of animosities and hostilities from other people, under difficulties and persecutions, “How do we survive?” is the key question.
I have been thinking of tactics for confronting difficulties. When oppression comes, you must grow sideways, on the horizontal base; you become tougher and tougher under oppression, smaller but harder. Or, you can dig into the ground, and grow there. Then after the preparation period underground, you can sprout again with more dynamic power. You must have surplus power to rise again when you are oppressed, to grow sideways maybe, or to go into the ground and grow smaller and hard, but you must have surplus power or excess power which will let you grow again with renewed strength. I myself am a good example. During almost 30 years of oppression by other people, I learned how to grow in a vital way.
As greater oppression was heaped on me, I pretended to become small, but I hardened myself and made myself stronger. When I dug into the ground, I prepared to spring up later on, when the oppression was gone.
Let’s think of the example of how seeds grow. If seeds of pine trees growing in a tropical area are planted here, in a temperate zone, they don’t grow too well. But if you transplant that pine tree from the tropical zone to the temperate zone and protect it for a while, then it will grow. Like a tree, if you are transplanted from an old place to a new one, where the temperature and everything is not suitable for you, you must become adaptable and try to absorb nourishment, even though it is a strange land. Suppose you are in a high-level university position and think the power of oppression cannot push you into the ground; if you cannot grow there, you will die. If that kind of thing happens to you, you must spring back, but it is not such an easy task as it may sound. You must pour out your deadly effort to fight back and make a breakthrough to sprout again. You must be able to digest the poor nutrients. For example, if the young people who have been living in such liberal and free circumstances in the United States, are brought under a regime of Communist oppression, it will be hard. You’ll be discouraged, you’ll be in deep despair, and you will be shocked and appalled. That’s possible, very possible. But if you are always ready to receive what may come to you, even though the situation is unspeakably hard, you will have excess power to survive the situation.
Even under Communist oppression, I always thought, “If I’m going to survive this situation, and if my people are going to survive this situation, I will do this and that.” My plan was great, even under persecution. My mission was: How to make the breakthrough and how to overcome the oppression coming from the government. Our enemy being all the established churches, I thought, “if they come against us with a unified effort I will break through. If the Communists come against me and my people, what should I do?” I was hoping for all those things to come all at once, so that I might break through all those things at one time. When I look back on my past, I’m grateful that I was persecuted by the Communist regime, by the South Korean regime, and by the established church ministers and laymen. I got over all those things. Now, in South Korea, both the government and the people think, “We will get nothing out of persecuting the Unification Church!” The established church ministers and laymen think, “We will lose if we attack these people.” In Japan, too, our people have been fighting against Communist power there; they (the Communists) are being defeated and they have fallen into difficulties. But I never thought of escaping from the situation when the government and the established churches opposed our movement, even in the face of the persecution coming from Communism. Now they have witnessed, and they know too well that even if the established churches persecute us, and the South Korean government persecutes us, and the Communist regime, by sending their people, persecutes us in someway, I will not be defeated, but I will survive all those things. Am I still under suppression by those people, or is the life of this movement springing out conspicuously? We have already survived all those difficulties, and we are growing. If we have survived the difficulties in Korea, can we not do the same in other countries? If the people of the world know that we can survive any situation in any country, in every corner of the Earth, then there’s a way for us to break through until we reach every comer of the Earth. We are wrestlers in the arena of life; if we win over the enemies, the majority of the people will follow the winners. You must realize how miserable the defeated are. Are you prepared to be victors or the defeated? Are you going to survive all the hardships, or dwindle and die away? (Survive!)
I’m going to tell you a story of my life in prison. I went through much torture. But before the torture came, I was rather anxious to go through that kind of thing, to experience it, to know what it really is. At each glance of a bat, with each jab, I was ready for it, I accepted the challenge. You must study everything. In the face of torture before it comes, you must know how to prepare yourself. If you are scared the pain will be greater, but if you are prepared to fight against it, then you’ll feel less pain. When it comes if you are all tensed up to fight back, then you can survive the torture. In my mind I always thought, “I’m fighting back spiritually,” when the physical blasts came. However severely they beat me, it was they who got exhausted, because every moment I thought I could never be defeated by them. My spiritual sword would pierce through their hearts. So rumors spread in the prison that Rev. Moon is formidable, he just cannot be defeated. You don’t know what prison life is like in North Korea. When I was in Hung-Nam prison, all the prisoners were supposed to put fertilizer into sacks. When you make rope out of this cloth sometimes the bones can be exposed, with all the flesh worn away. There was always blood dripping from your hand, but if you were scared by that, you could not survive the situation. Then I thought, “However hard they may drive me, I will survive the situation at all costs. Come what may, even if you torture me more severely, I can survive.” Then I experienced how much greater the power of spirit is than physical power. Instead of coming to my knees before the situation, under those conditions I was more courageous to fight back. All the prisoners, even the jailers and warden, came to respect me. I was cited for being the best worker. So, however bitter and wretched prison life may be, you must know how to make the breakthrough. You must be able to overcome the situation.
The next thing is how to overcome under heat or cold. It is easier to overcome heat. To overcome sleeplessness is a most horrible thing. But I could overcome it. I thought, even though I might have to die there, my spirit would survive the situation, and I did not die in the real sense. If I could not survive the situation even on the spiritual level, my mission could not be accomplished even by my successors.
The reason for my telling you about this is that you are the ones who are going to be faced with many difficulties in unknown lands in the 130 nations. If the whole nation of your assignment comes against you, you must be prepared to die there, like the seed buried deep in the soil; then a new life will spring up from the seed that was sown. Wherever you go, I’m almost sure that the established churches will come against you; they’re all prepared for that. Communists are even more formidable enemies to us; they are all ready to fight against us. You have been faced with a considerable amount of difficulty here, but you can never imagine what is going to come to you in those unknown lands, especially where Communism is rampant. In case of difficulties, you must always be thinking of how to raise a leader from that nation in order to succeed in your mission. If you find yourself not able to survive the situation, be wise enough to raise a leader out of that people as soon as possible. Don’t ever dream of using the people of the land, just ordering them to do this and that for you or using them as your servants. Never think of that; instead, you must become the servant to them. Just drive yourself into the soil like a seed, go through the difficulties, and make another breakthrough to grow in that land, in that climate. You must be determined not to allow your eyes to be scared by the sight of evil things, and don’t let your ears hear evil things that will scare you. Don’t let your mouth speak weak things, so that you are a failure there. Use your whole being to fight against evil power there. You must have strength of character and power of life, as a tree or any plant will grow despite the pressure of rocks. It will grow sideways or somehow find its way out. Don’t ever think of being indebted to others. You must use and exercise your own power to do the job.
You must find ways to open the hearts of other people by giving good lectures which will move their hearts; you must know how to raise money in that country to stand on your own economically; and you must be able to do good public relations work so that you can open up the channel to reach out to the people there. I’m going to make out of you persons who can survive any and every situation. When you look at me, I’m tough, strong, and elastic; like a ball. the harder you throw it, the higher it will bounce. For those people united with the will of God, difficult situations and rebuffs are a greater challenge; you can survive and you can utilize bad situations like fertilizer, to nourish a plant. Our movement is like a root coming from Father, spread out so that you feel the same power. You are in that way one with me; you are related to me, you are interested in whatever I’m doing, and you choose to act and think and speak as I do.
Before coming to the United States, I was prepared to survive any situation. I knew that there was Mafia in this country, and I planned how to win over them. I expected that Communists would come against me, and I was prepared for that. I knew that there was racial discrimination, and I was prepared to open the way. I was determined to grow as a tree, to set my roots deep into the hearts of the people, be they black or white. If two powers collide with each other, there is fighting between them. Clashes will be heard during the fight, but we must take them as an omen of the coming victory we are entitled to after the hard fight. If we are a questionable group in this evil world, it is a good sign, because it is the noise of the collapse of evil powers. We can never be defeated. When the established order of the world collapses, it will make noise.
By my sending you out to so many nations, our power will be spreading out to every comer of the Earth. You will wrestle with their advancing power, and I will watch to see if you win over them or are defeated. Use your arms and every tactic you’ve prepared, but in case those are not enough, bite the person, and don’t ever let them go until they are defeated. If you let them go before being able to do that, then they will become enemies. When they come to kill you, they will have more people on their side. So, once you get hold of him or bite him, don’t let him go unless he surrenders to you, or admires you and begs you to let him go, or until he comes to his knees before you.
You must remember that it was not the Roman soldiers, but Jesus’ own disciples who betrayed him and put him to the cross. The same was true with the Mormon Church. It was not the enemies of Joseph Smith who killed him, but his own followers. You must realize that your enemy is in your own home, in your own family, just as Jesus said. Those who oppose our movement and myself are mostly not outsiders, but those who once were members and left. I’m deeply determined not to make enemies of anyone. Even if they fall away, they would still respect me and not hate me or call me names. Instead they would pretend that they had to fall away because of such and such a reason. I want you to follow my example. Wherever you are sent, you are going to be the ancestor of that nation under God’s will, so don’t make enemies with people! You must be able to love even your enemies. That’s the tactic for survival. When you are only a handful of people, you are apt to lose if you fight, so try to steer the way without fighting, without making any enemies. Let them know that you are doing things for the sake of those people; you are serving the people at the sacrifice of yourself. There are many ways to do the job. You must be able to love them, serve them, educate them, survive difficulties, and be the example to others.
We are training ourselves to be strong so as not to die under persecution in unknown soil when you are planted in that land. Any organization, any group where they educate people to adapt themselves to any situation will be successful. Suppose you think that you are suited to be planted in the tropical zone; if you are sent to the arctic zone, you are sure to die. If you keep thinking that you are more suited for a cold place and you are sent to the tropical zone, you will wither away. You must be prepared to adapt to any kind of situation and surrounding. You must be able to enjoy nights as you would days, and glorify in whatever experience you are going through.
If you train yourself to think of the tunnel or cliff as if you were on level land, then you will not fear any difficulties. In the army, you are severely trained in order for you to be able to survive any situation or difficulty. We don’t know what kind of surroundings or circumstances you are going to be put under, so I want you to be trained in such a way that you will suit yourself to any situation. We are going to transplant you to some other soil. Are you confident that you will grow wholesomely there? Nobody will supply any nourishment. You must go on your own, absorbing nourishment out of that soil. I don’t want you to beg for support from the United States headquarters. For the first few months or years we will support you maybe, but that will play the role of fertilizer, not more. What is more important is the nutriments you absorb from the land’s own soil.
You must be able to survive any and every situation. Before going there, I want you to have the notion of your having to use all your sense organs to survive. When I was under persecution back in Korea, I was not conspicuous. I was somewhere underground, raising my people. Suddenly I became conspicuous, and began to grow, not only myself but all my members. I was the sparkplug; when I commanded them to explode, they exploded from so many places at one time they surprised the whole people of Korea.
I want you to get prepared during this training seminar, so that you will be able to survive those difficulties you are going to face in the land of your assignment, and be victorious and come back as victors and meet with each other and rejoice in our heavenly victory.