Out on the ocean with Rev. Moon: An Interview with Clive Pollitt

This article was first published on DPlife.

You’ve heard the adventure stories of buried gold hidden deep in the ocean. Inspired by a range of tales from the Count of Monte Cristo to Treasure Island, everyone harbours a childhood dream of following an old, crinkled map to a chest of coins and rubies, but for Clive Pollitt, this tale of treasures was not a dream. It was real. For Clive, these treasures were the golden experiences and gems of wisdom he experienced out on the ocean with Rev. Moon.

For Father Moon, fishing was a spiritual experience. Imagine being out at sea at 4:00 in the morning when there’s not a speck of light to see, and the waves are crashing all around you. You can almost smell the salt through your skin. It was in those types of moments that Father Moon discovered some of his deepest revelations. For him, fishing was prayer.We interviewed Clive, a Unificationist from England who shared with us some of the insights he gained while fishing with Father Moon, and how they might benefit us all.

Q. Father Moon loved being out on the ocean, and many Unificationists have memories of times he shared profound lessons through a fishing trip. Why did Father Moon love the ocean so much?

Clive. “Whenever I was out on the water with Father Moon and he talked about the ocean, it made me realize there’s a whole other aspect to life that really appealed to me. He talked about the fact that the ocean is the place where God could most easily connect with people, because the ocean is pure. If you think of all of the pain that human beings experienced throughout history, it’s mostly been on the land, but the ocean doesn’t have such a history. The ocean is a place where you can connect more deeply and more simply with God because, spiritually speaking, it’s free. It’s clear that for Father Moon the ocean was the place where he was able to pray the most and connect most deeply with God. Why else, at the age of 80, would you go out fishing for mackerel way out in the middle of the vast waters at all odd hours of the day and night? It could only have been because that’s where he experienced God the most. There’s something real, there’s something true about being out there on the water, just you and the ocean and God. It puts you in the moment. It taught me that if you can’t live a life where God is tangible and real, then at some point you’re going to realize you’re living a hollow experience.

The thing Father Moon cared about most in his life was God, and that’s the lifestyle he was trying to exhibit. He cared for God, he loved God, and so he would do anything to comfort or be close to God. That’s the kind of attitude he had whenever going out to fish, and that’s what he’s trying to teach us. Yes, there can be fancy theories and ideas, but at the bottom of it all it’s about our direct relationship with God. The real feeling that you can talk to God, experience God, and feel God is in your heart right now.”

Q. There are also some kinds of lessons involved in waiting for that fish, or surrendering to the powerful waters. What can being on the ocean teach someone?

Clive. “It’s difficult to learn something without actually experiencing it. Imagine trying to learn how to drive a car by only hearing it explained to you. You have to go through the motions yourself. You have to experience being seasick. You have to experience an oncoming wave five or six times your height as you’re standing there on a tiny boat. You feel terrified and you look around and see that there’s nothing else to hold on to, nothing but ocean, and you think, “How do I get home?” First you feel seasick, and then you feel like you’re going to die, and then it gets to the point where you’re afraid that you won’t die, as you realize that would be the easy way out.

It puts you in a totally different environment. The things you take for granted every day, like standing on a floor that doesn’t move or trusting things that are solid, are no longer there. There’s literally four to six millimetres between you and death if the hull is breached. Subconsciously you’re aware of that and your awareness of being alive is brought so much more to the forefront. These are the types of things that make it such an incredible impact on your life.

There are so many analogies between what happens to you spiritually and what happens on the ocean. How many times are you faced with spiritual seasickness? How often are you facing something so terrifying you have no idea how to deal with it, and you have no idea how it’s going to turn out? If you think about it, ocean life provides great training for spiritual life in that respect.”

Q. From the times you went fishing with Father Moon, you continued to follow the call of the ocean. What motivated you to go so far as to study oceanography?

Clive. “I think Father Moon was encouraging us to look at the ocean from God’s perspective, not only for our spiritual character development, but also in understanding how the world works–the ecology and the environmental systems that are at work.

I began to appreciate all that God has invested in the ocean. When we think of the ocean, we often just think of the waves, the surface, but underneath is a whole other world, an incredible world where all manner of wildlife live. And that’s absolutely fascinating to me.”

Clive and his wife, Maria, outside their local church in England
Clive and his wife, Maria, outside their local church in England

 

Q. Why do you think I should go pick up a fishing rod and head out to sea right now?

Clive. “In my experience, when I take people out on a boat, they change. When I go out on a boat, I change. It is the place you see the most dramatic change taking place, and it’s not always comfortable, it’s not always nice, but that’s where you see people change.

Setting yourself up for this experience on the ocean frees the spirit to experience yourself in ways that you don’t usually allow, and from that moment on our life has a different type of intensity where the simple things from before become more real, the relationships become more meaningful and our life seems to have more purpose.”

For Father Moon, the ocean was one of the intense environments where he experienced and developed his personal relationship with God. It shows us that no matter what we do, there is always a spiritual component, right now. Whether you’re on dry land or whether you’re on the ocean, no matter what wave or challenge comes crashing into your path, hold on to the rope of your destiny, knowing that not only does God intend for you to live life to it’s fullest, but He wants to be with you every step of the way.

From fishing with Father Moon, Clive went on to study oceanography to a point when he was even offered to do a Ph.D. He now lives in Chislehurst, England with his wife, Maria. They run a bed and breakfast and workshop centre and have three children.

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