Early Spring is the very beginning of spring. If our ancestors had not fallen, the moment they were born would have been the early spring of life. All they were supposed to do was to grow up and live their life centered on love. What is the seed from which Adam and Eve were born? It is God Himself. Man was created from the dual characteristics of God.
In the natural world, a seed sprouts and eventually grows into a tree or flower, and then it bears its own seeds. Seeds grow in every part of the world, east, west, north and south. On an apple tree, the fruit is redder on the side where the sun shines more. The fruit is paler where there is less sun. Likewise, the fruits and seeds from different directions and areas are slightly different, although the seed itself is of the same composition. The seed of human beings was God Himself. Like a tree, human society has grown branches. The trunk has become large, and its leaves have spread all the way around the world. That tree should be bearing the same kind of fruit and seeds it began with. A tree is a good textbook to show us how to live. It is a symbol of man’s life as it follows natural cycles and returns to a aced.
A tree has hundreds and thousands of leaves. A leaf doesn’t think much about anything except itself. The branches do the same. Meanwhile the root, which is hidden deep underground, is constantly sending nutrition up to them. Such is the situation of man. Man is usually very cognizant of the visible parts of his life, but hardly gives any thought at all to his hidden roots. God, like the root, is deep inside human society, which is growing above the ground.
Which part is more precious-that which is above ground, or that which is hidden underground? Why is the underground part more important? If you cut the top of a plant off, another plant can grow out of the same root. By the same token, which is more precious-man or the root of man? This is a simple but appropriate metaphor.
How do roots and branches grow? They grow according to law. Different plants and trees resemble the shape of their own seed-a tall alpine tree has a long seed, whereas the chestnut tree, like the chestnut itself, is round. The seeds contain the blueprint and the necessary ingredients for the tree to be deployed. Thus the tree assumes the same shape as its seed.
When the seed first sprouts, it has two parts. There are two directions, not one, because the seed has the two parts of plus and minus. God Himself is one being, but He has dual characteristics. So seeds and plants resemble God in this way.
Likewise, each human being has a mind and a body in dual relationship. Woman in the minus position and man in the plus position come together and give birth to more pluses and minuses. The same principle is true on every level of life.
When the sprout first starts coming out of the ground, it is nurtured from the food which is contained within the seed. By the time the nutrition contained in the sac of the seed is used up, both sides will have produced the necessary root. Suppose a seed lands on the soil upside down Even so, it still sprouts upward toward the sky and the root digs down into the soil. The plant must get its nutrition from above and below, from the root and from the air. Earth and heaven must have give and take.
The life of a plant is not as simple as it seems. In fact, it symbolizes the whole principle of the universe.
Why does the plant become bigger? It received nourishment, so it must give. Growing is a form of giving. Children want to grow up to be big. In growing, we become more aware of our surroundings; thus we can give more and receive more, too, enjoying give and take on many levels.
Imagine a huge tree which is really beautiful to behold. Although you can’t see its roots, they will be deeply laid. The tip of its root is small and lies hundreds of feet below the surface. Can you see that the tiniest leaf on the top is connected to that root? It is so high in one direction and so deep in the other that the connection is hard to see. Yet, without a relationship with the root, the leaf will eventually die.
By the same token, if we human beings say, “I don’t care about the roots; they are separate from me.” Then we too will start to die. The man who is aware of his root lives and prospers, while the man who does not recognize his root will die.
The leaves are close to each other so they appreciate one another. But the unity among leaves and branches is not just for their own sake. When all the branches and leaves above the ground are unified and are growing larger, it is because there is a large, healthy root. When the roots become stronger, the rest of the tree becomes stronger. It reflects the ideal cycle of good, brisk give and take in all directions.
Consider the trees in the wintertime. What do they do? They are dormant and do not grow. In winter, a warm, nourishing environment is lacking, so the elements cannot have strong give and take. Trees simply have to wait until springtime to grow. That is like being bound up and unable to do anything. For humans it would mean just breathing and existing. Does anyone want to live like that? No one does, regardless of whether they are young or old, or whether they are from the past or the present.
When a farmer puts down fertilizer, does he put it on the branches or leaves, or on the ground? The fertilizer nourishes the leaves and branches, but we put it on the ground. Why do we have to give nourishment to the ground first? The underground roots must grow and expand in order for the rest, the visible part, to grow and be strong.
Traditionally, Western culture has appreciated and pursued the revealed, visible aspects of the world. On the other hand, the Eastern cultures have put more value on the hidden world beneath the surface. It is a striking contrast. Here in the Western world, people are very active; they go hunting and they sail over the oceans. They dissect things and do experiments with everything to learn about the world. By contrast, when Oriental people want to know something, they sit down and meditate about it!
We can compare the characteristics of Western and Eastern people with the parts of a tree. When a strong wind blows, the branches and leaves dance around in all different directions. But have you ever seen the roots dance? The roots hold the rest of the tree firm.
As long as the trunk, branches and leaves are healthy, they don’t think deeply; but as soon as they get sick and fear for their life, they start wondering about the root. When Western civilization is sick and troubled, as it is now, people start looking to the East to try to find their way back to good health.
China and India are the two largest, most heavily populated nations in the Orient. How have these huge countries remained intact? Seeing the millions of Chinese and Indian people, we know that there must be an equal quantity of roots beneath them.
Fertilizer is put on the ground to feed the part of the tree which we can’t see. The fertilizer for human beings is thought and prayer. These give nourishment to our root. We have to constantly give more and more nourishment to the underground root.
Which is more important to society: creating more inventions, developing greater technology, or digging down deeper and learning about our roots? Digging down and paying attention to the root, or to religion, is more important.
The religious tradition is the most precious part of human society. Especially precious is that religion which emphasizes the relationship between the deepest part of the root and the highest part of the branches. Without such a religious thought and teaching, the world would really be in danger. When give and take between the under- and above-ground parts is very active and strong, then so is the whole society and culture.
Look at the average American person. Is he trying to dig down to his roots, or is he focused on the visible, upper parts of life? Almost everybody is trying to reach higher and higher, gaining more and more in that direction, but they can’t do that without a deep root. At its present rate, American society must perish. It will happen naturally, according to universal law, even though nobody wants to perish.
When a Western person gets kicked, he will immediately stand up and fight against the adversary. But when an Oriental gets kicked, he tries to protect himself. What do you predict-will Western society continue to prosper at the same rate it has in the past?
I recently visited Columbia University in New York City, and I observed an interesting phenomenon. Out of twelve professors, four of them were Korean and only two were American. The others were from several different countries. Why are so many Koreans here in the United States, particularly on college campuses? Korean people study religion and philosophy with great seriousness, seeking to dig down to the core truths. Now it is a widely-discussed social phenomenon that Orientals, especially Koreans, are occupying a large number of academic positions in the United States. Likewise, a high percentage of students in the Ivy League schools are Korean.
Imagine that you were a company executive looking for employees. There are some brash and talkative candidates and others who are more reserved. Which type would you choose to appoint to a responsible position? You American women answer me first! If you were the president of a company and you had to choose a department leader, would you pick a talkative person or a more reticent one? Your mind knows that the more valuable person is the one who doesn’t talk all the time. How does the mind know? The mind is connected to the original root, it understands these things.
If a father is ready to pass on a central position in the family to one of his children, which would he be likely to choose? To whom would you give that central mission? Would you choose the son or daughter who laughs and talks a lot, constantly expressing his thoughts and feelings, or the one who is more quiet and calm? Certainly, the one who is more quiet would be more trustworthy. Roots do not move; they are silent and deep. The person who speaks a lot is bound to make more mistakes and to make more trouble, whereas a person who keeps things to himself can create harmony.
Can you think about God at the same time that you are laughing and merry-making? Yet, it is common to think about God when you are in a contemplative mood. Western Unification Church members, especially in America, rarely pray. When you do pray, it is almost never for one solid hour, and certainly not for ten hours straight. Now do you have a better idea why you have to pray?
Should we value the present time, or should we cherish the past more? Thinking about and evaluating the past means we cherish tradition. What is the most important part of tradition? Honor your parents, your brothers and sisters, and your good ancestors. That is the root. By studying history, people can learn many things and become wise. In that way, they will prosper.
Then who are Reverend Moon and the members of the Unification Church? We are the ones who want to dig deeply down to the roots of life. Before you joined this movement, you didn’t have that attitude.
Today I have to meet a certain time deadline, so I cannot speak for a long time. I have spoken to you so much already, what more is there to say?
Your root must go down straight. Which do you think is more difficult for the root to dig down straight, or for the tips of the leaves to reach upward? Yes, the roots have to work harder to dig down. For a person, a country, or a civilization to become great and extend itself, visualize how far down its roots must go. By looking at the history of civilization, we can conclude that our root is still moving down in a certain constant direction, even while mankind is undergoing such turbulence. Imagine how much God has worked and prepared everything underground.
Those families, clans and nations who declined and perished in history were those who scorned the invisible world of religion and even persecuted religious people.
In your opinion, is God sad or happy? We must understand that God’s experience has been the most tragic of all. We can feel something of that tragedy when an individual dies, or a family breaks up, or a country falls to pieces and declines, but God has borne more sorrow than that by Himself. We feel outrage and sorrow at the deaths of millions of people under communist regimes, yet we must understand that God’s suffering has been even greater than that.
There are many branches on a tree, but which should be the main branch? They cannot all be of equal size. The one which stands in the center is the tallest and the main branch. If only the easterly branches prosper, a tree will lean to the east. A slanted tree is not attractive to look at.
By the same token, look at the world in general and the drastic differences between Eastern and Western hemispheres, the disparity of wealth between the North and South. One is so poor and the other so rich. Who is going to balance that situation? The source of balance for the fallen world can only be found within the tradition of religion. It cannot be solved within the purely material realm. The roots of a tree have many different parts, just as the tradition of religion has many different denominations. Right now they are confronting and even opposing each other. Unless and until the roots of religion become one, the world cannot become one. Our Unification Church members must know that clearly.
My work has been focused on that point. First, I have sought to unify all the Christian denominations, and after that, all the peripheral or side religions. Someone must do this that someone is the Unification Church.
From this moment on, when you look at trees, you will think about these points. If you see a tree projecting out in only one direction, think: “Oh, that reminds me of our situation. We have to have a balance among all sides.. All you American members here represent the Western world and I am representing the Eastern world. Who is the root? Then what are you? You are the branches, leaves, trunks. Am I a straight root or a crooked one? How about you? Do you have a straight trunk? It is becoming straight and strong, isn’t it? I have been teaching you continually how to grow straight.
By nature, black and white people have some different characteristics. You might say that white people have been underexposed to the sun. Have you ever seen an apple which is red on one side and pale on the other? When you take the first bite of such an apple, where do you want to sink your teeth? Certainly, in the red side. By the same token, black people have more of the roots, they are richer in emotion with more things to cherish inside themselves than white people. All there is to white people, in general, is what we see outside; there is not so much inside.
The sun represents light, original life, and therefore love. All creatures naturally follow the sun so they can be most alive. Sunshine is symbolic of love. Thus black people have absorbed more love and are more deeply emotional. White people for the most part are cold. Look at the frigid North Pole, where there is not much sun.
Western men and women are very individualistic and they tend to think about themselves first, not others. When you are in the shade perhaps you have to worry about yourself, but when the sun drives away the shade, everyone is warm.
What have I been doing here in America? I agitated white people; I have made you think more. Also I made you suffer more, something you never wanted to do. I discouraged you from merriment and pushed you to think deeper and suffer more. I have done that in order to change you.
Look at the trend toward labor in America: “Let’s work only five hours a day, five days a week.” What about the Japanese? They say, “Let’s work ten hours a day.” The Koreans are saying, “Let’s work twenty hours!” American society is in an uproar over that standard. “They work too much,” people say. Koreans are naturally gaining more wealth. In New York, people are expressing anger and resentment toward Koreans. The black community is complaining because Koreans are making money so fast. But it is happening naturally: the more diligently you work, the more material things will be drawn to you.
The solution is so simple. What both the white and the black people of America must do is to work harder than the Koreans. Then America will once again spring up in vitality. Otherwise, Koreans will be taking more and more positions of responsibility in American society. You might not like that, but you can’t help it because it is natural. This is not just my thinking. The ones who work the hardest eventually take the positions of influence within any society.
I have been working very hard. I know that someday this society will have to follow my standard. It is natural law. No matter how much America goes against me, in the end Reverend Moon’s standard will win out. Can you understand that?
From now on, each of you will yearn to look at a tree at least once a day, isn’t that true? Let them teach you. Be educated by the trees.
We don’t enjoy being reminded of the results of the fall and all the difficulties we have to go through because of that. Traditional Christianity has been thinking that God has everything; He can do anything; He knows everything. Therefore, He is the great, glorious, ideal God of joy. People have associated only happy things with God. But now Reverend Moon comes and teaches you something completely different: God is the saddest, the most miserable, suffering Person in the universe. At first you couldn’t believe it, but little by little, you have grown to understand this truth.
Don’t you think God is glad to find so many people who are finally understanding Him as He really is? When we begin to understand God, then He can start sharing His heart with us. Out of all the human beings, I am the one who knows most deeply how miserable God is. Then, was meeting Reverend Moon a good or a bad event in your life? You said good, and I believe and trust that. I believe that you like my words, but you don’t like to follow what I say, do you? This is the dividing point. The one who loves my actions and tries to do as I do will go to the heavenly realm with God. Otherwise, you cannot go there.
Our topic today is the early spring of life. As we have said, each person starts out from a seed and then goes through many different circumstances and activities. We all have many relationships with the environment, and then we return to the beginning point, that of a seed. Like the tree, a person is supposed to grow in a balanced way between his plus and minus sides.
As a person grows older, he is exposed to many different people, many different leaves and branches. From that, you will get proper nutrition before you form a seed. When is the time for the flower to come out? It is in spring, correct? When is your springtime? It is when you get married. That is when you come to know about the opposite sex.
You Sisters here, do you need a man? How much? You need him so much that you don’t mind being occupied one hundred percent by him. American women do not like to be dominated. You think it is a horrible idea to give yourself up. You can’t possibly do that! But something in your mind says, “You must do that.. Although you expect misery, you find your husband and you find love. Not only that, you also find yourself. Love has that kind of power. How wonderful love is. Most American people do not know this secret point. It is actually the businesslike way, the pragmatic path. In love, you do not lose you gain! Do you understand? When you invest yourself completely, you gain a total return on your investment.
Flowers have male and female parts. When the female and male parts of a flower come together, a seed is formed. Does the female part of a flower fly around and land on the male part, or is it the other way around? At that time, at that moment, the female part actually plays the role of plus because the male pollen flies in. The seed grows in the female part.
You all wanted to get married, didn’t you? Do you want to stay as you are and find love, or do you want to give yourself up and be enveloped and controlled by love? On this foundation, one finds love and is uplifted gradually to heaven. Husband and wife are able to go together to heaven. Love follows this vertical line.
In your seed are all the things that you inherited from your ancestry. Both male and female are the total expressions of their ancestry. The essence of the two seeds is exactly the same; they are equal.
Look at the American family. Should a child deviate from the parents, or should he resemble them? What do we see now? Today’s American family has so many problems. The sons and daughters are at variance with the parents. Children should ideally be the fruit born of the first love, not the second love. Is that clear?
The fallen world is going against the original way in every conceivable aspect. I came here and started teaching you American people how far from the ideal you were. In the beginning, no one liked it. But I want you to become engrafted into the true root, getting all your elements from God. Then you will naturally produce a seed which is much more Godly.
The fallen world’s root, as we know, is different from the original root. That root is the problem. God doesn’t want a deviated root, so He is working to reverse the root of the world. That work is what we call re-creation.
If we could draw a picture of the Unification Church, it would look like a tree with many strong roots. Now we are about to branch out. You came here from many different roots, but now you are grafting onto the central, true root. The simple purpose of religion is for fallen man to be grafted into God.
First, we need to be cut away from the old root. Where should we make that separation, at our foot or at our neck? The Bible promises that those who are willing to die for God will live; those who seek to live will die. Therefore we must be willing to cut ourselves off from old ties.
Would you prefer to cut yourself from the old root, or would you like someone else to help you? Can you do it yourself? You need someone else’s help. Who is that someone else? It has to be someone who represents the ideal, an original person, not a fake. The invisible, hidden parent is God. The visible, tangible parents are our True Parents. That is why you want to be engrafted onto the True Parents. You want to be cut off from the fallen American root, inheritance and tradition you want to sever every fallen connection.
How does this relate to our topic, the new spring of life? We will be cut off from the old root and be grafted onto a new root. Our new life will bud and flower. Once we are engrafted, how are we going to live? We will live as straight as the root which formed the tree. You must live consistently with the tradition of the True Parents. When you do that, every part of you will be fulfilling one hundred percent: your leaves, branches, roots, and your seed. When you fulfill this one hundred percent standard of perfect fruit, then you can return to God.
Until now, you have been enduring a long, bitter winter. You became rather adapted to the wintertime. But now spring has come, and everything starts growing with new vigor. When you break your leg, you have to wear a cast for many months, but eventually you have to get out of it. When you do, you are bound to experience certain aches and pains associated with healing.
We must go over all cultural and national barriers. You have to separate from your old heritage and be grafted into a new root. Then you will start to grow. That is when you meet the new spring.
Do you feel that what I have described is exactly the way you ought to go? Or do you think, “Well, that’s generally right.” It has to be precisely that way, not generally that way. So your central figure with whom you work is always an issue. You have to support him, go along with him. When you do, everything becomes harmonious.
Do you feel confident that you can live that way now? Which should you emphasize more the present, past, or the future? The past is the root; the future is our goal. They are more important than where we are today. We must go vertically to the apex, the summit. The vertical beam is the main pillar in a house.
When you know this general rule, you know what kind of husband or wife you are, what kind of child or parent you are. You know whether you are worthy of going to heaven or not. No one else has to tell you.
We and all of mankind are about to go in a new direction. New life and new growth will be sprouting everywhere. Therefore, Unification Church members will be very busy from now on. You are the ones who must not only go this way, but also lay the foundation for the rest of the world.
This is the way we must go at this time of history, the early spring of life. Those who say, “Yes, I will grow and reach the top,” please raise your hands. God bless you. Let us pray.
Early Spring Of Life
Reverend Sun Myung Moon
April 3, 1988