North/South Korea Reunification?

As One K-MovieLast week we watched this Korean Movie, As One, Starring Bae Doona. It is based on the true story about the one time that North and South Korea joined as one team in the 1991 World Table Tennis Championships in Chiba, Japan.

Dramafever.com has As One, free, this weekend for all users.  Catch it if you can.

What struck me was the depth of heart that developed between the players from the North and South.

The unification of North and South Korea is a complicated issue.  North Korea has been in the news a lot and continues to make threats toward South Korea and the US.

Recently, some American college students from the Collegiate Association for the Research of Principles, CARP, gave a presentation on Korean North/South Unification.  I’m copying the transcript here with their permission:

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Jermaine Bishop, Jr.: We’re here to tell you about potential!

Joshua Holmes: The potential of true love

Naomi Froehlich: And its ability to move mountains

Jermaine: Boundaries

Joshua: and even Demilitarized Zones

 

—————– Jermaine Bishop, Jr. —————

A few weeks from today we will once again acknowledge the lives offered up in support of two opposing ideologies, which led to the armistice at the 38th Parallel. Though I doubt anyone here is in need of a history lesson on this account, I dare recount a few facts in order to bring forth the significance of this great peninsula.

Just 5 years after the second World War had come to a close, the Soviet influenced North decided to reclaim and reunite the unsuspecting South, and forcefully so. Battered and drained from quite possibly the most exhaustive war the world has ever seen, it might have been acceptable for American leaders to look upon the invasion of the free world representatives in South Korea as a Korean matter. Not so! Call it what you will, but I choose to call it divine understanding. You see President Harry S. Truman was insightful enough to recognize this as a more than some skirmish over the relatively small southern tip of a developing country. He along with his administration was insightful enough to recognize that within in this battlefield the fate of the entire free world hang in the balance.

I have to be honest, I didn’t know much about the Korean war before deciding to prepare for this speech. So, I am thankful for the opportunity to understand something so vital to the worldview of a man who seeks to create the kind of world that we seek to create as a CARP leaders. Cheon Il Guk we call it or in English, a “nation of cosmic peace and unity.” There were two great understandings illuminated during my research that I wish to share with you today.

Number one: Korea is of special significance in terms of creating a unified world. 16 UN nations sent troops in support of South Korea’s freedom. 5 more nations offered support and war supplies. That is, 21 nations came together for the 50 million free citizens enjoying life at this very moment all around us. 21 nations made it possible for a developing nation to have their shot at becoming the world influencer they are today. With the prosperity South Korea now enjoys, there is hardly a face on the earth that has not been influenced in some way shape or form by the beautiful culture of the Korean people. K-pop, Korean Drama, Samsung, and Hyundai are simple but obvious examples of this. But what is more important is why. At the time when 21 nations surrendered their equipment, soldiers and prayers toward the fate of the Korean peninsula, do you think they had an idea that Korea would one day become a prosperous nation that would repay them all one by one? Why did America sacrifice 35,000 of its young men? Some husbands, some fathers, some brothers, each one of them a son to a couple who did not imagine they would one day send their children to offer their lives for the freedom of another country. Why did twentyone nations spend money from a military budget already depleted by a world war just five years prior to this one?

Korea is of special significance not because the people are so charming and nice. That is most certainly a fact, but I somehow doubt that men died for that reason. No! Korea is significant because somehow it exists in a space where the gate toward a world of freedom and another toward a world of oppression overlaps. An overlap that divides blood against its own. Mothers and daughters, fathers and sons. And it is most unfortunate that so many of our brothers and sisters are born on the wrong side of that divide. It is even more unfortunate that we are forced to live such prosperous lives all the while knowing that we are enjoying what our distant siblings cannot.

Point Number two: The war never ended. On July 27th 1953, an armistice was signed by the U.S., China and North Korean army generals. Now I don’t have the most exhaustive understanding of war terminology but I know that war ends when one party is completely defeated or when a treaty that should ensure the longevity of peace is signed. To this day no such agreement exists and the DMZ is a testament to that. Each nation stands on guard 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Either side prepared for the worst possible scenario at all times. The Korean war ended instead in an armistice which essentially is nothing more than a cease fire. A commitment to refrain from violent actions until a peaceful settlement can be reached.

The start of this war occurred because someone had the desire to reunite their nation. Throughout the course of the war that was achieved twice. By late 1950 the North Korean army had seized control over all areas of South Korea to exclude only Busan. For the first time since Japanese Colonial evacuation the nation was unified even if only for short lived time. Shortly after America joined the fight the south was able to push the North Korean army as far as the Chinese boarder. For the second time during this war, the Korean Peninsula was united, this time under the authority of South Korea. 3 years later, a divide was once again drawn at the 38th parallel. How much was sacrificed simply to prolong this struggle.

There is a new testament scripture I am reminded of, when I think of divide that exist between the two worlds represented in North and South Korea. It goes:

“By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. 17 But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? 18 Little children, let us not love in word or talk but indeed and in truth.” ~1 John 3:16-18 (ESV)

Ideology has an interesting way of influencing our world view. World-view, or the comprehensive conception or image of the universe and of humanity’s relation to it influences the way we view ourselves. Which of course, influences the way on which we view those around us.

Now if we go through life seeing each other as nothing more than a sack of chemicals, just another animal seeking to satisfy his own needs, or even a being without innate purpose and direction. What type of world can we expect to create? Unfortunately, you don’t have to look far to find that answer. Oh, but if we saw ourselves as children of the same loving parent, who created us with one wish. A wish that he might find delight in our existence in joy and peace with one another then that is world that would exist without boundaries or boarder lines. I have fought many times with my brothers, not one of those time did we need an army to resolve our conflicts.

————————-Joshua Holmes———————

In the Bible, there is the story of Cain and Abel. Although only a brief story, it stands at the core of the struggle we are facing today. You see, Cain was the oldest child, but God denied his offerings and accepted Abel’s. So, Cain became twisted by his jealousy, arrogance, his lack of love and killed Abel. Was this only Cain’s fault? No… Was this what God wanted? Absolutely not! Both Cain and Abel had a responsibility: to humbly and respectfully listen to each other, and to talk things out, eventually learning to love one another. And through this exchange of love, Cain would have discovered why his offering was denied and returned to God. That was God’s dream.

I call upon this story because I believe it parallels our current issue, the Re-Unification of North and South Korea. Just like these two brothers in the Bible, North and South Korea stand at odds with one another. One is condemned and degraded while the other is given blessings and prosperity. However, each come from the same common source, they are family. But this is not just a Korean issue, this is a global responsibility. As Jermaine shared, the divide was not caused by Korea alone but by 21 nations, so it should be resolved by these nations! The 38th parallel is a representation of the world today, enveloped in contradictions between Democratic and Communist ideals. As an American I can not run from this! Until we can resolve the central location of the conflict, how can there be true unity elsewhere?! The Korean divide is the bedrock!

Serious issues are emerging in Korea such as the installment of a new president, heavier North Korean missile testing, and even the removal of United States anti-missile defense systems on the 38th parallel. Despite your opinion regarding these current events, I see this as a necessary opportunity to cultivate our resolve and unify together. Cain had a choice to kill or not, so as North Korea’s brothers, we can help them make the better decision.

Of course, this dream has opposition. Some may be against Re-Unification because of how much it costs. Studies have shown that the whole process of unification would amount to $2 Trillion, not a small amount. But this is a burden that South Korea does not need to carry alone; America, Japan and Russia can rally in support. And we must think long-term! Russia is the power it is today because it fought through the collapse of the USSR and now sees the brighter future. Also, would America have been a leading country in the world had it chosen to remain divided as North and South because of the Civil War? When put into this perspective, there is an endless degree of potential growth if both Koreas were one unified country! The social and long-term benefits far out-weigh the cost.

Additionally, some may be believe that it is simply impossible to Re-Unify. A recent poll found that only 31% of Koreans believed that Re-Unification will happen in their lifetime. Meanwhile, in America, the media regarding the issue of North and South Korea is predominantly negative. So, no wonder our viewpoint is so pessimistic! There is hope, we just need to look in the right places. I find my hope in two leaders whom I cherish and respect for their deep love and sacrifice towards restoring Korea back together, Rev. Sun Myung Moon and Hak Ja Han Moon. Rev. Moon was beaten and tortured in North Korean prison camps for years, facing immeasurable pain and sorrow. Despite these atrocities, in December of 1991, they met with Kim Il Sung and embraced him, choosing love over resentment. This meeting converted Kim Il Sung from any enemy to a friend. What if we could embody that same kind of heart? Would this dream still be impossible? True Love tears down the wall of impossibility and opens the gate of hope for Re-Unification.

I would like to invite up Naomi Froehlich to dive deeper into this concept and how we can achieve unity.

———————— Naomi Froehlich ————————-

As we heard from Jermaine and Joshua, North and South Korea represent a confrontation between two ideologies and ways of life. Although North and South Korea have become quite different over the years, they are originally one nation, and a special nation with a long and brilliant cultural history of 4000 years. The Korean people honor and respect one another in beautiful family traditions, which have been passed on through generations. They. Have a deep spiritual tradition and a love for peace.

We (Jermaine, Joshua, and I) stand here before you today as an international community to reaffirm our faith in the peace process. We need a solution on the Korean peninsula which will be a victory of faith, and an unprecedented reconciliation between brothers and sisters separated by a tragic conflict. That conflict was instigated by powerful forces beyond the borders of Korea, on a world level. A peaceful reconciliation here would bring a new era of international cooperation to the Pacific Rim and the world.

As representatives of the Free World, we need to rise to a challenge. The great spiritual teachers of our times teach us to persist resolutely in seeing the best in others rather than vilifying the enemy. Let us think of NK as our brothers and sisters; our families; and put ourselves in their shoes. As an international community, we need to practice the kind of heart, character and values that can win the trust of the North Korean people

His Holiness the Dalai Lama said “You must not hate those who do harmful things. The compassionate thing is to do what you can to stop them because they are harming themselves as well as those who suffer from their actions.”

This is the attitude we can adopt as we move forward in our pursuit of reunification.

What do families in North Korea want? I firmly believe that in their hearts the people of NK want Peace – they definitely do not want another Korean War. Thus, we need to exemplify such great love and a renewed commitment to the dream of One Global Family under God to move their hearts.

And how about the NK government? I believe they want the respect of surrounding nations and the world; Respect especially of the US, SK, and Japan –crucial leaders of the free world. They want the right to exist – in prosperity and with all the blessings we enjoy. We need to give them the dignity and respect they long for.

Unfortunately, the US fears a nuclear weapons strike; NK fears annihilation. NK is surrounded on all sides by powerful nations they perceive as their enemy. This is problematic because NK is isolated and cut off, so they put up walls and barriers. EVEN ON AN INDIVIDUAL LEVEL – when someone is isolated and then backed further into a corner, how do they react? Strike out; fight back

You and I, as a united front, need to transcend this wall of fear. We can and we must build relationships of trust and transcend the barriers with enlightened approaches and attitudes.

I am so moved by the peacemaking example of Rev. and Mrs. Moon. They have been motivated out of a love for God; and a love for humanity. They are not condoning the evils of communism; but they are not fighting to annihilate the enemy, instead they strive to heal them with compassion and true love.

Mrs. Hak Ja Han Moon continues this great peace-making work today. She is a great woman of peace, with the heart of a mother, who wants her sons and daughters to reconcile and shed tears of forgiveness from the bottom of their hearts. She too was born in N Korea and escaped as a refugee at the age of 6 years old. But she has never wavered in the pursuit of a peaceful reconciliation and reunification of Korea. She longs to see NK brothers and sisters fulfill their dreams for lives of virtue and peace and prosperity, just as she longs to see her SK brothers and sisters, as well as the rest of the world, reach out with dignity and self-restraint willing to make the sacrifices to melt the heart and resistance of our people in the North.

Rev and Mrs. Moon’s example is a beacon of hope that this approach is possible.

What if we as a whole community made a new commitment to live a life of true love, one that stems from a heart of embrace and forgiveness, that no one could resist?

As Martin Luther King Jr put it, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

Are you ready to put these words into action?

Are you ready to tear down the walls dividing not only this nation but the entire world?

Now tell me, how much are you willing to endure to make that a reality?

As I understand it, more than 2 million men on either side of the 38th parallel laid down their lives for us. Besides remembering their names, there isn’t much we could do for them now. But there are men and woman on the other side of that DMZ that are just as much a brother or sister to us as any person here today. How much are we willing to offer in sacrifice for those siblings?

From this day forth, as we go throughout the seemingly mundane day to day task. Let us make a sincere effort to walk according to the words of the late Rev Sun Myung Moon, who once said,

“When I loved those, who acted against me I brought victory. If you have done the same thing, I will give you the crown of glory.”  ~Crown of Glory (full poem)

 

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Evolution vs. Creation 

Sometimes while I’m driving my mind goes off on a tangent. I got started thinking about the creative mind and its effect on evolution. Did material things evolve on their own, or was there some kind of input from a creative mind (God)?

I’m not a philosopher, just a Moonie with a brain. As a Unificationist I believe that God created the universe in six stages that took some enormous amount of time, represented as days in the creation story in Genesis. God invested constant and tremendous energy and love into the creative process.

I was thinking about the evolution of the automobile. If I were a future archeologist looking at the physical evidence in car graveyards, would I think that cars evolved on their own, from blocks of steel and rubber into the cars we drive around today?

“Materialism is a form of philosophical monism which holds that matter is the fundamental substance in nature, and that all things, including mental things and consciousness, are results of material interactions.” ~Wikipedia

The evolution of automobiles kind of fits the way I think about God’s creation. Every year, the car guys, mechanical engineers, make changes to the previous year’s design. Some changes may involve radical transformation in the way cars are made, like the introduction of the assembly line, then the introduction of robots to the assembly line.

At each stage a lot of thought and creative energy went into the changes that were implemented. There was nothing in the metal, plastic, or rubber that spontaneously made those changes. Everything sprang from the collective creative minds in each company.

I wonder how much love went into the process. Did the companies and engineers really love the end users, drivers and families? Or was the motivation purely profit? That is a more complicated issue.

I lived through the regulatory changes of the sixties when the car companies were forced to include seat belts. Then the crash test dummies forced other regulatory changes. Love for consumers, not so much. There were a couple of companies with a better reputation, like Volvo for safety, and Honda for fuel efficiency.

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Do Dream Characters Evolve, and what does it mean if they do?

A couple nights ago a new character appeared in my dream. Sometimes I have recurring dreams of places, but rarely of people or characters. I almost never dream about people I know in my waking life. Usually the characters in my dreams are pretty random and rarely have ongoing roles.

I dreamed about Navajo St. in Denver, where I lived for six years in Elementary School and Jr High.itwas evening, and I was an adult. I walked down to the north end of the street. I met a middle-aged man who resembled a mentally challenged homeless person. He was standing near the corner in kind of a lonely daze. 

I realized that Hee wasn’t homeless, just kind of lost. He didn’t speak, or maybe he couldn’t speak. He was pretty bundled up with a coat, scarf and knit cap. I realized that he was a servant or slave belonging to the rundown factory at the end of the alley. I took his arm and guided him back to the building.

It had been some kind of auto repair shop, but the owner wasn’t doing much business any more. Instead of letting this old man go, he was keeping him around, giving him room and board. The old guy was lonely and would wander off looking for some human interaction. Then he would get lost, even though he was only half a block away, and still in sight of the shop.

He lived in a little closet space on the second floor, marked number 12 in white paint. He had to climb up a wooden ladder built into the wall to get into his closet.

After taking him home, I started thinking about what I could do for him. I wanted to do something for him to cheer him up. Luckily, tomorrow was Christmas. I could surprise him with a gift. 

There was a collection of used clothing in the basement of the church nearby. I found a blanket with an interesting pattern on it, and some other clothes. I put it all in the washer to make sure everything was clean.  I also found a pretty spiffy white fedora that I thought would look good on him.

I woke up before I could bring the stuff back to him the next day.  

I’ve been thinking about this dream a lot the last couple of days.  This old guy reminds me of the Big Dummy who was a recurring character all my life. He first appeared as a huge dark monster, like a black Sasquatch, that was chasing me. Once I recognized this monster as a shadow character, he morphed into a lost eight year old boy with Downs Syndrome.  I met him in that form a few times over the last ten years. Now it seems he has evolved along with me into retirement.

I’m just curious to know if anyone else has recurring dream characters and how these have changed over the years.

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Wonder Woman and God’s Love

Everything in the universe is created to be governed by God through love. Thus, love is the source of life, the key to happiness, and the essence of the ideal to which all beings aspire. The more one receives love, the more beautiful one appears to others. ~Exposition of the Divine Principle (Chapter 2, sec. 2.2.1)

God’s love is the subject of all loves flowing within the [family], which is established when its members have completed the three object purpose through their dynamic love for each other. Without God’s love, there is no way to establish the true [family] without God’s love, there is no way for us to fulfill the purpose for which we were created. Love is truly the source and wellspring of our life and happiness. ~Exposition of the Divine Principle (Chapter 2, sec. 3.1)

We hen I watch superhero movies, I always think about the Unification Principle perspective. Superheroes seem to be angelic characters, with super powers created to serve and protect human beings, who are God’s children. Greek Gods also seem fo fill the role of angelic beings.

In Wonder Woman, Aries is an archangelic character like Lucifer in the Bible. He is consumed with jealousy and hatred toward human beings. They are not worthy to be objects of the protection of the gods (angels). He whispers destructive ideas to humans and take delight when they follow up on those destructive temptations. Aries (Lucifer) accuses humans when the follow through on those temptations, saying that they deserve the suffering and destruction that results. 

Aries refuses to acknowledge the role he plays in feeing these dark temptations to people. He believes that human beings deserve the self destruction that he plans for them.

Wonder Woman sees something different in human beings, their capacity for love. This is what makes human beings unique and deserving of her protection. For all our faults, we are special and unique, deserving of God’s love and protection.

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National Chili Dog Day


The last Thursday in July is National Chili Dog Day!  I’m up for that. Here’s some stuff to get you going.

 

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Scientific Evidence for Noah’s Ark 

 

A couple days ago I was reading through a heated thread about Noah’s Ark on Facebook. Someone posted a negative comment to the effect that there is no scientific evidence that proves Noah’s Ark ever existed. 

I ment to post this link to a scientific study on Noah’s Flood as a response, but never got around to it. The original thread has degenerated into bitter sniping from two sides of an unrelated issue, so I won’t link back to it from here. 

I remember walking into my local library, looking for something to read on the new releases shelves. Noah’s Flood, on the nonfiction shelf caught my eye. I love to read about biblical archeology and sometimes find fascinating information and new theories. The story of Noah’s Flood also appears in the Epic of Gilgamesh

Geologists have never found evidence of a global flood. In this book the authors looked for a local or regional flood that might tie into the story of Noah. They found a catastrophic flood in the region of the Black Sea about ten thousand years ago. 

When the ice age was ending and the oceans were rising, the Mediterranean Sea broke through the Bosphorus and flooded the freshwater lake where the Black Sea is now, that was a thriving center of culture and civilization. 

Bosphorus from space

The torrent of water was so enormous that it could have taken forty days to equalize the level of the Mediterranean and the Black Seas. The force of the water cut the deep and narrow channel on the Bosphorus. In the process, a gigantic waterfall must have created its own weather system, the source of the fourty days and nights of rain.

 Bridalvale Falls in Yosemite National Park.
The authors used a research vessel with undersea radar to locate the ancient buried lakefront villages. Then they drilled core samples to verify that it had once been a freshwater lake based on the fossils located at different depths. 

It was a fascinating book. I thoroughly enjoyed it. 


 Epic of Gilgamesh                                                   Noah’s Flood 

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Ears to Hear

When the Lord comes, will He tell you what you want to hear? Or will He repeat what you already know? 

If He comes to tell you what you want to hear, if He comes to repeat what you already know, why does He need to come back at all?  You already know what you want to hear. You can just tell it to yourself. You know what you already know. 

Did you forget what you know? Why should He go to all the trouble to come back and remind you? How many translations of the world’s best selling book do you need?

I accepted Jesus in the summer of 1974 after reading Grandpa’s Good News for Modern Man New Testament. One thing that was crystal clear to me was that Jesus won’t come back preaching the same things from 2,000 years ago. 

Our problem isn’t that we don’t know the scriptures. Our problem is that we know them too well. Our minds have become calcified and petrified with our own human interpretations. Many of us today are acting like 21st century scribes and Pharisees. We are the blind leading the blind. 

Take a good look at our world. 

Take good look at our world. 

Has the Good News been good enough? What do you think? Or do you think we need a few new Words? 

Have we put our talents to good use? What do you think the Lord will say to us when He returns? 

“Well done, good and faithful servant?”  (Matt 25:21 ESV)  Are we really ready to enter into the Joy of our Master?

When the Lord returns, He will surely come with new wine. Do we have new wine skins ready? Or are we still carrying around first century wine skins?  

Do we really know what God is thinking?  Whose side is God really on? Are you sure you know the answer to that?

My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord.  (Isaiah 55:8 ESV)

The truth is that none of us is righteous (Romans 3:10), but we seem to have forgotten that. We sling our opinions around freely, condemning those who disagree with us. We forget that even God may not agree with us.

A little self doubt may be healthy. How about a pinch of salt with that?

A final word for me and for you:

Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. 3 Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.” (Matt 7:1-5 ESV)

 
Good News New Testement.                            Waterproof Bible ESV

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