Cain and Abel Children: A Unification Parable

Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, The Return of the Prodigal Son, Spanish, 1617 - 1682, 1667/1670, oil on canvas, Gift of the Avalon Foundation

by Tyler Hendricks

14_12_CfE_Tyler 10.55.08 pmIn the “Cain children” vs. “Abel children” dichotomy, I’m of a mind that the primary category is “children.” Looking at Cain and Abel, the parents would say: “These are all my children. Some are older, some younger, some look more like me, some less, but we are one family and they all receive my inheritance.” Thus I apply the family paradigm from the parents’ viewpoint, rather than as we usually do, from a sibling (rivalry) point of view. I’m also of a mind to bring out the virtues and responsibilities of Cain more than usual.

The parable of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32) is instructive. Here, Abel took the inheritance, abandoned his father and wasted it in a self-centered life. But the spark of God within him woke him up; he realized his abject status as a sinner and returned to his father, ready to be a servant of servants. Based on this condition, the father bestowed blessings upon him. On the other hand, Cain served his father faithfully, building up the father’s fortune. He did not share the father’s willingness to bless Abel. But the father reached out to him and told him that all that was the father’s belonged to him and encouraged him to rejoice.

This reminds me of our relationship with True Parents over the years. We Cain children worked so hard, fundraising, witnessing, teaching, sleeping little, having nothing. We in New York would rise well before dawn on Sunday mornings to attend True Father’s sermons at Belvedere, only to get chastised for being sinners. I would think to myself, “But Father, we’re your children who are here attending you! What about those who didn’t even come here?” In the back of my mind was, “Father, you should be praising us, and chastising those who didn’t come.”

I was wise enough to realize a bit of what was going on, and now I’d like to expand upon that. We were True Parents’ Cain children. There’s one important distinction between their Cain children and Abel children: the Cain children were a lot older and so could serve as object partners doing the work with True Parents. We were young to Father, but to the Abel children, the biological children, we were a bunch of old folks running around exhausting ourselves in a missionary life, often joyful, sometimes resentful, but obediently lining up to bow in front of their parents. We had so many complicated feelings toward True Parents, and the Abel children, whose feelings for True Parents were simpler at first, could see it and feel it.

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Towards the Emergence of Original Eve

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By Alison Wakelin

Alison WakelinIn pagan religions, women were held in high esteem, with men and women holding rites and ceremonies honoring the Earth Goddess. But looking more closely, we see humans were still living almost as part of creation, like a superior animal, with no recognition of their divine natures, and little realistic concept of a God who created out of love transcending nature itself. Tracing the course of monotheistic religions as God’s attempt to establish the spiritual nature of the human being, we see how Unificationism has brought a total break with the past, in honoring the nature of the divine feminine as an equal and necessary expression of God.

Judaism, Christianity and Islam were established on the basis of male superiority, females, having inherited Eve’s inability to think for herself, considered incapable of anything other than raising children and supporting their husbands. Thus each monotheistic religion which preceded Unificationism and laid the foundation for today left Mother God in some way unempowered.

To sum up the achievements of the messianic mission, we must evaluate clearly the foundation for the world to receive not just a new Adam, but also a new Eve.

In Principled terminology, Eve also acquired two natures as a result of the fall, Eve and Fallen Eve, just as Adam had two natures. Notice that neither Eve nor Fallen Eve is actually the same as Original Eve. Original Eve still has to be explored, a happy quest in which we will all be involved.

Therefore, Eve’s task is also to set up the conditions for the Foundations of Faith and Substance. For women, this primarily involves healing, because that is the uniqueness brought to humanity by women, their unique expression of Mother God, although Eve’s emergence will also be accompanied by the expression of Eve’s intellect and subjectivity in ways history has been unable to imagine.

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Same-Sex Marriage: A Unificationist Response

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By Robert Beebe

Dr BeebeSame-sex marriage is now the law of the land, thanks to the recent 5-4 ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court. Despite 30 states enshrining in their constitutions that marriage was the union of one man and one woman through the combined votes of 50 million people, all this was swept away in two years largely by federal court rulings that made same-sex marriage legal in 37 states, culminating in the Supreme Court decision. Along the way, a majority of Americans are said to now support same-sex marriage. The culture war is over, advocates say. The traditional view of marriage has been cast aside.

All this has occurred not for want of effort on the part of traditional marriage supporters. The National Organization for Marriage, the Family Research Council, and other Christian-based groups have fought tooth-and-nail for many years to prevent what has just happened. Despite their confidence in their cause, and believing that God was on their side, they ended up fighting a losing battle. How did this happen?

Looking back, it seems now an inevitable result of a half-century of cultural change beginning with the sexual revolution of the 1960s. Traditional marriage lost its honored place in American culture long ago when the divorce rate began to skyrocket towards 50%, where it remains today. What are we to expect when millions of children fail to experience the benefits of traditional marriage in their own homes during their formative years? Why should we be surprised when, as teens and young adults, they begin to look elsewhere and experiment in unorthodox ways in their desire to find love? The seeds for legalization of same-sex marriage can be found in the breakdown of the traditional two-parent family.

This has been accompanied by the indoctrination of our young people by a public school system that promotes in the name of diversity not only tolerance but the celebration of all sorts of lifestyles and personal expression. The Judeo-Christian values that once provided the moral foundation for our culture and informed the nation’s education system have been replaced by a godless secular perspective in which anything goes. From this new perspective, once accepted traditional values are now regarded as oppressive and bigoted. Having breathed this atmosphere day-after-day in the public schools, many of our own children have adopted the values of the popular secular culture.

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The “Invisible Hand” and “Reverse Invisible Hand”

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by Gordon Anderson

GordonThe economic debates we hear between the right and left today tend to be wars of words based on unscientific suppositions, or statements of faith. Thus, the battles between economic ideologies that often underpin the rhetoric of Republican and Democratic candidates tend to reflect the type of belief we would call “primitive religion” if it were a discussion of some other aspect of human life. Both statements that “an invisible hand of the market can bring happiness to all” and “government redistribution can bring happiness to all” are suppositions that contain an element of magic akin to the common religious belief that “if you are faithful to scripture, God will bless you.”

The Book of Job in the Old Testament is about a faithful man who suffered afflictions, not blessings. The Holocaust is another example of a people faithful to scripture not being protected by their God. Similarly, poverty in the West serves as evidence that a free market economic system does not automatically lead to the happiness of all who live under it. And, the collapse of communism in the USSR is evidence that government allocation of economic resources leads to economic collapse and misery. It is time to move beyond the naïve rhetoric of our inherited economic dogmas and attempt to understand why they rely on a lot of magic and how the scientific study of human economic nature can lead to better solutions.

The Invisible Hand 

In the debates between left and right, free marketers on the right often cite Adam Smith and his “invisible hand” of the market, while socialists on the left consider the invisible hand to be an article of faith. The socialists are right. The term “invisible hand” is a non-scientific name given by Smith to explain a phenomenon he observed. Like the idea “the tree god makes the wind blow,” this type of supposition is a label attached to an observed phenomenon to describe human experience and observation without scientific explanation.

What Smith referred to as the invisible hand has been studied scientifically by psychologists and economists who understand that, in competitive market environments, human beings pursuing their own ends are forced to serve others or starve. In a free market transaction, the seller has to provide something to the buyer that he is willing to pay for, and both buyer and seller “win.”

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Will We Ever Walk Justly?

Mother Emanuel

By Kathy Winings

kathy-winings-2Headlines across the United States on June 18 blared the news of yet another shooting. The evening before, 21-year-old Dylann Roof walked into the historic Emanuel A.M.E. Church in Charleston, South Carolina, spoke with its pastor, Rev. Clementa Pinckney, and participated in the weekly Bible study that had just begun. Towards the end of the session, Roof rose uttering racist remarks, pulled out a gun and began firing. He killed nine people, including Pinckney; three survived. The shooting has been called a hate crime, and Roof reportedly left a manifesto indicating he wanted to foment a race war.

The shooting is just another example of acts of injustice that haunt us every day. One would think that in the 21st century, amid cries for greater peace and harmony, and with a more educated populace, that incidents of injustice would be lessened and efforts to bring about a more just society would be more successful. Yet we continue to live with a seemingly endless parade of justice issues coming to the fore on a daily basis. We read of religious radicalism and fanaticism, poverty, starvation, human trafficking, global warfare, violence, sexual abuse, racial discrimination, internecine fighting — to name just a few. With all of our knowledge, wisdom, wealth, understanding of history, and our sophistication, why is it still so difficult to achieve a more just and loving world? What are we missing?

As Unificationists, we turn to Unification thought and theology to try to make sense of injustice and to answer the question of what it takes to live justly in the 21st century. However, Unification thought and theology are limited in terms of presenting a practical answer as to why it is so difficult to create a just world. At best, Unification thought and theology use only broad strokes to meet this challenge by presenting theories concerning ontology, original human nature, universal values, ethics, order and equality. Therefore, our challenge is to take these theoretical concepts and develop them to give a more effective practical understanding of how to address injustice.

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The Misinterpretation of Emperor Constantine’s Vision and Its Consequences

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By Rohan Stefan Nandkisore

EditorEmperor Constantine’s victory against Maxentius in 312 AD is commonly understood as the first battle under the banner of Christianity and seen as a major shift from its status as a persecuted religion of outlaws to the established power that would reign for over a millennia in the world. But is this really the case?

Emperor Constantine had a vision of a cross in the sky. This was interpreted by his advisors as a divine sign of good fortune in coming battle. The cross as a symbol of power in battle originated here. Until then, the cross and more so, the letter “p,” standing for pax or “peace,” were symbols for Christianity.

In still earlier times, the fish was the secret symbol for Christians. In the Greek language, ichthys was the word for fish. Each letter was the beginning of this message: Iesous Christos theou yios soter, “Jesus Christ, son of God, Savior.”

Until Constantine, bloodshed was not caused by Christians. The idea to shed blood in the name of Christ, in the sense to harm others, was alien and not supported by its founder — quite the contrary. As a result of its way of life, this religion of persecuted outlaws eventually brought the Roman Empire to its knees. It did so without military power but through devotion to Christ and by filling the cup of indemnity until finally released. This was perhaps the most honorable victory in Christian history.

The Vikings and the adaptation of Constantine’s conquest

When Reverend Moon travelled through Europe in 2005 (then banned from the Schengen Area), he strongly addressed the Viking mentality of Europeans. At that time, I did not get it, because by my understanding, the Viking age was between 800 to 1000 AD. However, this applied only to the well-known Viking raids that occurred in Western Europe mainly from Norway. In the eastern part of Europe, Vikings travelled as traders and settlers along the rivers, particularly in Russia, until they met Muslim communities on the shores of the Mediterranean. According to the most prevalent theory, the name of the Rus‍ ’ people is derived from an Old Norse term for “the men who row.”

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The Power of Words

By Hiroshi Nakata

Nakata_IMG_01Human communication is fundamentally mediated by words. Even though there are many different languages in the world, they all utilize words. Although there are numerous studies on communication, less attention has been given to the words that constitute the basic elements of communication. What are words? What is the purpose of words? Do words contain an essence or power intrinsic to themselves? Uttering certain words can affect human relationships for good or bad. Speaking fitting or poorly chosen words can even affect one’s health.

This article investigates the power contained in words. This power can operate in two directions: for good or for bad. If we are aware of this fact, we can change the way we use words. We will use them only for good purposes and apply them with a positive attitude to daily life. Words constitute a big part of the environment of everyday life. According to Unification Thought [UT], human beings stand in a subjective position to nature and all things.

Among the elements of nature, water is fundamental and crucial for life. All plants and animals require water for their existence, and human beings do as well. If our water is polluted, it brings serious problems. In this light, I examine evidence that water is affected by human words. If there is a resonance between water and the words we use, then this would mean that bad words can pollute the human environment no less than toxic waste.

People use words to hurt others. Yet the words we use affect not only the other person, they also affect ourselves. When we use good words when speaking to others, our words foster meaningful human relationships and help to raise humanity. Furthermore, good words nourish health, both spiritually and physically. The contents of words relate to the Three Great Blessings: maturity of individual character, building a good family, and dominion over the natural world.

This article offers useful information for understanding the power of words and their value for building of one’s character, improving communication, and improving the environment. It is particularly important for parents, who are constantly speaking to their children, and educators, who are every day speaking words to their students, to be aware of the power of words.

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Remembering Father: A Poetic Tribute

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By Lloyd Howell

LloydTo “remember Father” is to remember what it is to love, to remember how to give unconditionally, to remember how to laugh when weary and burdened and how to press on in the face of enormous obstacles. The writing of this book was an attempt to come to terms not only with the departure/loss of True Father’s day-to-day earthly presence but also to grasp the impact and significance his life had on mine and the greater Unificationist community. The reflections were various and often moved me to tears. I include four poems for the reader’s interest.

The following poem began with a random thought of how pure the snow must’ve been in the remote countryside of Rev. Moon’s boyhood (north) Korea. I could easily imagine the forceful winds driving it across the land and next I realized that an invisible wind was also blowing into the life of the young Sun Myung Moon. And I understood how he opened his heart and let it take him along and thus, as I too opened my poetic sails letting this concept carry me along, the poem then became something parallel with Father’s life.

The Wind in Your Sails

Father, I can see you as a young boy –
pure as the wind-driven snow of northern Korea,
even then there was an invisible force gathering behind you
and to it you dared to open your sails
thereafter finding yourself doing strange things:
inviting beggars home for dinner,
sharing the melons of your uncle’s field
with the village boys –
even then seeds of concern for others
were taking root deep in your soul –
single-minded, nothing could stop you –
certainly not the fear of punishment.

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My God Has Morphed: My Journey to Heavenly Mother

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By Jeanne Carroll

A testimony of the unfolding of my relationship with God, our Heavenly Parent.

Jeanne CarrollBeing raised a Catholic in a family of three girls, I had my issues in relating to God. There was a point in my mid-teens when I decided I was finished with all the religious dogma I had toyed with. I knew it was easy to say you believed in something but just as easy to live your life as if your belief was not true or vital to all decisions made on a daily basis.

I just wanted to connect with God. Those days of my youthful quest led me to the “peace movement” of no war, flower children and back to nature. I moved into an adobe house with no running water in the mountains of northern New Mexico.

In my quest to “see God’s face,” I fasted for 40 days on water. I saw lots of colors and entities, but no God. A few weeks later, I did another 40 day water fast, figuring I’d get it right this time. It ended with a horrid experience in which the devil peeked out from behind the mountain and laughed until the whole world vibrated. With that, I headed off to really find God. I did not want any part of living in Satan’s land.

I landed at the Denver bus station and sat on the floor. It was 2 a.m. and I was faced with the night life of downtown Denver after living in a simple, safe cocoon for two years in my adobe house. I was then approached by an understanding fellow who offered me a place to stay until morning. How nice, he was going to take care of me.

But he brought me to a basement apartment in an urban neighborhood. Inside there were more men. Apparently I was to be the life of the party. After being assured that the gun was loaded with one bullet and the trigger pulled once to prove they were serious, I was raped by several of these men. As they proceeded, I called out to God. I said these guys should kill me since I had pretty much screwed up my life until that point. But I added, “If you can be in charge of my life absolutely, then let me live.”

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