The River Does not Reject the Waters that Flow into It

Individualism is rampant in the world today. Ironically, however, people are destroyed by individualism. Further, individualism expressed in one person will hinder the growth and development of other people around him or her. By extension, it will be detrimental to the development of the nation as a whole. The avarice that is in peoples' hearts is the greatest obstacle on the path that leads to the world of peace. Avarice in individuals gives rise to the avarice of the nation, and hearts stained with avarice cause division and conflict among individuals and among nations. Numerous people throughout history have shed blood and died in conflicts that came about as a result of avarice.

To eliminate such conflicts, there needs to be a great revolution that will change the erroneous values and thinking that are widespread in the world today. The complex problems that our societies face today can be resolved quickly, if there is first a revolution in peoples' thinking. If individuals and nations will begin to look out for the other person first, or the other nation first, and work together with them, the problems of modern society all will be resolved.

Throughout my life, I have dedicated myself to efforts for peace. Any time the word "peace" comes up, I become emotional. I choke up, it becomes difficult for me to swallow my food and tears begin to well up in my eyes. It moves me deeply just to imagine the day when the world becomes one and begins to enjoy peace. That is the nature of peace. It links people who think differently, are of different races and speak different languages. Our hearts yearn for this world, and harbor a hope fl| that it will be realized. Peace requires concrete action; it is not a vague dream.

The pursuit of peace has not always been easy. There have been many difficulties and it has required large sums of money. I have not done this, however, for the honor of an individual. Neither did I do it for financial profit. All I did was to invest my full effort so that we can have a world where a strong and true peace takes root. For as long as I have been doing this work, I have never been lonely. This is because, ultimately, peace is the desire of every person in the world, it is strange, though. Even though everyone wants peace, it still has not come.

It is easy to talk about peace. To bring peace, however, is not easy. This is because people push aside the truth that is the most important dement in bringing about a world of peace, and pretend not to know it is there. Before we talk about peace among individuals or among nations, we must talk about peace between ourselves and God. Each religion today thinks of itself as being the highest, and looks down on and rejects other religions. It Is not right to build fences against other religions and denominations. A religion is like a wide river flowing toward an ideal world of peace. The river will flow over a long distance before it reaches the wide expanse of the world of peace. On its way, it will come across many streams that flow into it. The streams cease to be streams from the point where they meet the river. From that point, they, too, are part of the river. That is how they become one.

The river does not reject any of the streams that flow into it. It accepts them alL It embraces all the streams, and forms a single flow as it continues toward the ocean. People in the world today do not understand this simple truth. The streams that seek out the river and flow into it are the numerous religions and denominations of today. Each stream traces its origin to a different spring, but they are all going to the same destination. They are seeking the ideal world overflowing with peace.

Peace will never come to this earth, unless we first tear down the walls blocking the way between religions. For thousands of years, religions have grown in alliance with particular ethnic groups, and so they are surrounded by high cultural walls. Tearing these down is an extremely difficult task. For thousands of years, each rel igion has surrounded itself with such high walls, insisting that it is the only correct religion. In some cases, religions have expanded their influence and entered into conflicts and fights with other religions. They have hung Gods name in places that had nothing to do with His will.

The will of God lies in peace. A world fragmented by differences in nationality, race and religions, where people attack and fight each other and shed each other's blood, is not what God wants. When we shed blood and fight each other in His name, we only cause Him pain. A world torn to shreds has been created out of the desires of people to promote their own wealth and glory. It does not represent the will of God. God clearly told me so. I am only His errand boy, receiving His words and carrying them out on Earth. The path to bring about a world peace in which religions and races become one has been exhausting. Many times, I was rejected by people or my own abilities fell short, but I could not put aside this mission. When the members and colleagues who worked with me would cry out in anguish because of the difficulty of the task, I would even feel envious of them.

"If you decide this path isn't for you, you have the option to stop and turn back," I told them. "Or if you try and try and still can't accomplish it, you have the option to die trying."

"But you should pity me," I said, "because I am a person who has no such options."

There are some 200 countries in the world we live in. For all these countries to be able to enjoy peace, the power of religion is absolutely necessary. The power of religion is in the love that overflows from it. I am a religious person whose role is to convey love, so it is natural that I would work for world peace. There is no difference between Islam and Christianity hi their commitment to bringing about a world of peace. In America, I am carrying on a movement for peace that brings together 20,000 clergy without regard to denomination. Through this movement, we are discussing ways that Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, and the other world religions can come together. We are devoting our full efforts to changing the hardened hearts of people. My purpose is the same today as it was yesterday. It is to create a world that is one, with God at the center. There will be just one sovereignty in this world. The entire world will be brought together so that all territory will belong to one nation, all humanity will be citizens of one country, and we will all share one culture. There will be no possibility for division and conflict in a world that has become one, so this will mark the beginning of a world of true peace.