I miss my hometown so much that I visit it often in my dreams. My hometown is far beyond Seoul; it is in Jungju, a place in North Korea that has mountains and the sea. Wherever I am, whenever it may be, my heart is always reaching out to that place where there is love and life. Everyone is born with their parents' lineage and we are fed our parents love as we grow up. We cannot forget our hometowns, because that is where the ground is soaked with our parents' love. That is why the older we get the more we miss our hometowns. Because it is where we began, it is where we must return. People are unable to cut ourselves off from those things that are fundamental to us. So in 2004,1 ended my activities in the United States after 34 years, and returned to the Korean peninsula, where heavenly fortune resides.
We don't know the time when morning becomes noon. Neither do we know the time that evening becomes night. Human beings have no way of knowing the moment when Heaven does its work. That is how it is with our lives, as well. Our moments of success and failure all pass us by without our being aware. The same is true with nations. We cannot know the moment when good or ill fortune comes to a nation. Heavenly fortune is a force that moves the world; it is a principle that makes the universe go around. Though we may not know it, there is clearly something called heavenly fortune, which the One who created this world uses to conduct His providence. The universe moves in exact accordance with its own particular order.
All beings in the world bear within them a certain principle that is put there even before they exist. When a baby is born, no one has to teach it how to open its eyes and begin breathing. The baby does these things on its own, without being compelled. "Things that happen on their own" hold within them important keys to the secrets of the universe.
Many things in nature just happen on their own. In reality, though, the phrase "on one's own" doesn't fit. Hidden within natural phenomena that appear to happen on their own there exists a directional force of the universe that we do not comprehend. That is the fortune of the universe, or heavenly fortune. As the universe turns, it is certain that there will be a period when it comes upon a powerful fortune. If we understand the principle of the universe whereby spring follows winter and is then followed by summer, then we can foresee the future that is waiting for our country of Korea.
Those who am wise will align themselves with the laws and rhythm of the universe. When I was in America, I would often fish in the Hudson River near my home. I have been an excellent fisherman ever since I was a young boy, but there were days on the Hudson when I could not catch so march as tiny minnow and had to return home disheartened. Fish have paths where they travel and times when they pass by. It's just that we don't know what these are. Just because there is water, it does not mean that there will always be fish passing by. A person who doesn't understand this could keep his line in the water all day and all night, and it won't do him any good. The same is true with heavenly fortune. If we don't have an eye to see the future, we will not see heavenly fortune, even if it is staring us in the face. That is why it is important to have a keen ability to sense heavenly fortune.
World civilization has developed through history in a westerly direction. Egypt's continental civilization gave way to the peninsular civilizations of Greece and Rome and then developed to the island civilization of Britain, before moving on to another continental civilization, this time in America. Civilization continued its westerly move, crossing the Pacific Ocean to Japan. The movement of human civilization didn't stop there. The force that raised Japan up to such a great position is now moving to the Korean peninsula. Human civilization is about to come to its fruition on the Korean peninsula.
For Japan's island civilization to link up with the continent, it must pass through a peninsula. The Korean peninsula is in a most exquisite geopolitical position. It faces Japan and the United States across the Pacific Ocean. It also is connected to the continents of Asia and Europe, and shares common borders with China and Russia. This is the reason that Korea has been a focal point in the power struggles among the world's great powers and has suffered a great deal as a result During the Cold War, we fought for our very existence in a war against Communism. Even now, the concerns and interests of the world's great powers continue to involve the Korean peninsula, and so Korea remains a divided country unable to be completely at peace. The time has come when the Korean peninsula, which is at the spot where the interests of the great powers collide, will take on an important role in preventing conflict between these countries and lead the world into prosperity and peace.Heavenly fortune comes with tremendous responsibility. Now that the Korean peninsula has come into its heavenly fortune, it must play a role similar to a ball bearing, making sure that these countries do not collide with each other but instead cooperate closely for the sake of the prosperity and peace of the world. The functions of a bearing are to hold the axle of a machine in place, while also allowing the axle to rotate freely. Korea needs to maintain smooth relationships with the great powers, and become a bearing that allows for world peace to develop.
I have been making intensive preparations since a long time ago for Korea to play this role. I supported the glasnost policies of President Gorbachev and hurried the task of improving relations with the Soviet Union, and I supported the reform and openness policies of Deng Xiao Ping in China, starting in the late 1980s. I began my work in China by supporting Yanbian University to establish a college of engineering. Even after the Tiananmen Square incident, when foreign capital was leaving China, we remained in China and invested hundreds of millions of dollars in Huizhou, Kwangtung Province and did a lot of work in support of Chinas policies of reform and openness.
I did not do this for economic reasons alone. I am a religious person*« not a businessman. A religious person is someone who looks ahead to the future and prepares for it. Russia, China, Japan and the United States must cooperate with each other through the Korean peninsula and develop. The Korean peninsula must become the axis for world peace.
When I began working to improve relations with our country of Korea and the Soviet Union and China, I discovered that we did not even have something as basic as a Russian dictionary or Chinese dictionary. Very little was going to get done as long as we could not understand each other's languages. I also heard that there were groups of academics, who appeared to have foresight, working to publish a Chinese-Korean dictionary and a Russian-Korean dictionary. These were the Chinese-Korean Dictionary Project being led by Prof. Hong 11-sik of the Korea University's Institute of Korean Culture and the effort by professors in the university's Russian studies department to publish a Russian-Korean dictionary. I supported these two projects. These dictionaries continue to play crucial roles in the Korea's exchanges with China and Russia.
Even if a rock sits atop the highest mountain peak, once it begins to fall it will fall all the way to the deepest part of valley. The West has achieved incredible development with the help of science, but moral decay is already sending it down to the depths of the valley floor. That valley floor is the East, which has been developing a spiritual culture over thousands of years.
In particular the Korean peninsula is the place where Eastern and Western cultures meet, and the place where continental and oceanic civilizations meet The historian Spengler said that, just as the year has four seasons, so also civilizations have repeated a process of rise and fall. The Atlantic civilization has prospered until now, but now is the time when it is being replaced by a new era, the era of pan-Pacific civilization. Asia, with Korea at the center, will become the new primary actor in history. Two thirds of the world's population lives in Asia. All the world's major religions began on the Asian continent It has long been humanity's spiritual root Before long, Western and Eastern civilizations will come together on
he Korean peninsula. Even now, the world is changing rapidly. Heavenly fortune is moving in Korea's direction at ever increasing speed. If the Korean peninsula is to properly perform a tremendous role in leading the world during a time of such change that the world will seem to turn ups* down, then it must prepare itself well. It must do away with the past that was marked with prejudice and selfishness, and greet the new age with clear eyes and a new heart.