Each of us goes through life ignorant of when we will die. We do not know that we won’t die in a traffic accident. I think some people will die saying, “Oh, Reverend Moon was right!” expressing regret only at that moment. We need to know that we are traveling a very serious path in life. We need to use every second of our life to prepare ourselves for the eternal world. We should be aware that we are standing on such a fateful path.
When people go to spirit world, they can be divided into two general types. The first comprises those who live out their natural life in this world, and the second comprises those who experience an untimely death. Among the latter, some die as a result of punishment and others die in order to pay indemnity for the nation or the world. Suppose God established one person in a central position with the value of a thousand people. What if God made that one person go the way of death in the place of those thousand people?
In such an instance, the grace and virtue of the one who died in their place would move the hearts of the thousand people. They would determine to live for the benefit of that person, model their lives after that person and live as he lived. If they did this, the thousand people would enter the same realm of grace as the one who died for them. The reason we try to follow the philosophy of patriots and model our lives after wise men is that we desire to enter the same realm of grace as these people.
Some people live with hope while others live without hope. We can divide people’s hope and aspiration into two general types: that centered on human beings and that centered on Heaven. A newborn infant thinks that his mother’s bosom is the most wonderful place in the world. At a certain point in its development, however, the child leaves its mother’s bosom. As the child grows, he or she forms friendships, thinking himself happiest when he is with his friends. Eventually, though, the young person will leave his friends behind. During our life course, we come to discover that neither loving parents, nor a loving spouse nor even loving children can completely satisfy our hopes.
People have many kinds of hopes. Eventually, all these hopes pass away. We have hopes for our family, hopes for our country and hopes for the world. But the reality is that as we grow older, our hope grows weaker. Some people boast that their hope represents the hope of all humankind, but find they lack the conviction to pursue it at the sacrifice their life. People fervently entertain many hopes during the course of their life. But when they face death, they abandon all their hopes. They desire to stay alive one more day. Day after day they wander in search of something new in which to place their hope. When they finally face death, though, all their hope fades away and they fall into despair as they set out on their final path. We know all too well that this is true.
Viewed as an individual, it may appear that a person possesses worthy aspirations. But no individual hopes live beyond death. In my view, it is important for all people on earth today to give serious consideration to one question. How can we find hope that will not collapse in front of death, but will transcend it? All things of this world will pass away. Our families, nations, and even the world itself will pass away. Ideologies and philosophies will pass away. What is it that remains? Whatever remains, that is the hope that can defeat death.
We can consider a person who does not possess such a hope or aspiration to be defeated in life. There are people who, from the time they are born, reject all the hopes and aspirations of the secular world. These people embrace aspirations not of the human world but of Heaven, hopes that are eternal. Heaven helps these people. A life of faith does not embrace any aspiration that exists on earth. Instead, it embraces the hopes that surpass even the gates of death. It dreams of the world of eternal hope.
Understanding Life and Death
Reverend Sun Myung Moon
December 18, 1998