In his final years, Father Moon said that his teachings are his legacy, and he would point to what he called “eight great textbooks and teaching materials.” In his words:
“I am leaving behind eight textbooks and teaching materials for humankind to use for all eternity…”
“I am leaving behind eight textbooks and teaching materials for humankind to use for all eternity. These are published in almost a thousand volumes. They are The Sermons of the Rev. Sun Myung Moon, Exposition of the Divine Principle, Cheon Seong Gyeong, The Family Pledge, Pyeong Hwa Shin Gyeong [Messages of Peace], True Families—Gateway to Heaven, Owner of Peace and Owner of Lineage and World Scripture.”
Everything True Father did broke the mold, and this list is a good example. Consider the huge difference between the items on this list. One is less than one page long. Another is over 100,000 pages long.
The first item on this list is all of True Father’s sermons—so in terms of his teachings, the entire list is already in the first item. The rest is footnotes.
The eighth item, World Scripture, could be one of two books: the original World Scripture or its follow-up, World Scripture and the Teachings of Sun Myung Moon. That’s never been clarified. In either case, it consists of words from other people’s scriptures, selected by scholars from other faith traditions. In effect, True Father is saying that all the world’s scriptures are part of the eight textbooks.
“True Father is saying that all the world’s scriptures are part of the eight textbooks.”
Finally, as he introduced this list, True Father invariably recommended another book, Peace Loving Global Citizen, as having the same value as those eight. Of course it did, because it is a compilation of passages from his sermons, i.e., words that are in the first textbook. Which means that compilations of the first textbook have the equal value.
What was True Father doing? I believe that he was deconstructing in advance any fences built around his teachings. He was saying, I want you to read it all but I do not want you to pin me down to any one speech, one text, one collection, one version or one school of thought. That is Father’s freedom. He was telling us to define him by our love, not by a list.
Interesting and insightful for me. Concerning the text books, I have always assumed that anything True Father had said would be considered a part of the text books. But, I had to scratch my head when it came to “World Scripture”. Why did True Father include this book as a text book and exclude other Church publications, e.g., “Unification Thought” from the list? When it came to “Unification Thought” (UT), based on True Father’s words, I came to my own conclusion why UT was not included as a text book. This short article provided the insight, for me, why “World Scripture” is included as one of the eight text books.
Is the statement, “The rest is footnotes.” a play on A.N. Whitehead statement concerning European philosophical tradition? If it is, punny!