By Richard A. Panzer
It could be fairly said the defining element of those who identify with the Unification Movement is that at one time or another in our lives, we have been touched by the teachings of Rev. and Mrs. Sun Myung Moon. Reflecting on Father’s legacy, I have asked myself what is the core message he strove to leave behind? If I had to choose one word to describe Rev. Moon, what would that be?
For me, that one word would be: giving. To pick just two of countless times: his 14 hours of non-stop speaking about God’s nature, will and ideal I experienced in the 1980s at Belvedere; and when he returned during temporary releases from Danbury prison and spent that time telling us not to worry, that God would use his incarceration to further bless America. The main lesson, in my mind, was: here is a man who is constantly striving to find ways to give more and more.
While he was battling his federal court case in 1982, he launched The Washington Times, and in 1984, purchased 250 trucks to be used to deliver food to the needy shortly before entering prison. How many foreigners in the U.S. decide, while on trial or in prison, to spend more than a billion dollars of precious resources to serve the nation that incarcerated them?
By Stephen Stacey
What does it mean to apply the Principle to life? Does it mean that we just understand that the world has the potential to be much more ideal than it is, and then go off and read the ideas of others who are succeeding in life? Or does it mean that within the Principle itself, and in the many speeches of Rev. Moon, there lie the principles upon which human beings can succeed in building a more beautiful world into the future.
For the last 10 years, because of my teaching work, I have had to ask this question every day. Over time, I believe I have gained new insights into how both the Principle and principle-related concepts are helpful in understanding human well-being and success.
My first deep insight was a revelation I received at 2 a.m. on a bus to Russia where I was to teach a marriage enrichment seminar eight years ago. Let’s start with a simple scenario.
If you were the head of a project team at work, what questions might you ask to be sure the project was on track? Some of your most important questions might be:
by Bruce Sutchar
Rev. Sun Myung Moon has always maintained that truly the greatest revolution in the world is the one from selfishness to unselfishness. Likewise, nearly every spiritual teaching has always dealt with the idea of transcending the self and being one with the universe. From Buddha, Lao Tse and Jesus, to Eckhart Tolle, Byron Katie, and many of today’s modern writers, all have focused on this critical point. In modern psychology, Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung also wrote of the importance of the self-centered ego in explaining our everyday actions.
Jesus taught it is better to give than to receive, but for most of us, this is little more than a nice phrase to quote—one that everyone agrees with, but few try to observe. Some spiritual disciplines even equate our condition to having a raisin heart—one all scrunched up but with minimum capacity to give and receive love. After we marry and start having children, it finally becomes opens up, when we actually experience more joy watching our children open their Christmas presents than our own.
Each of us has only one pair of physical eyes. These eyes see the world from our own point of view. The Divine Principle teaches that one of the four fallen natures is seeing only from our own point of view.
By Keisuke Noda
Human life is enigmatic. A variety of challenges falls unexpectedly on an individual and life can seem absurd. There are religious and scientific explanations, but we still wonder: Why? How do we make sense of the challenges we face in life?
This article attempts to shed light on this extremely complex problem by answering the questions of why we have challenges and how we can cope with them.
The most common approach to challenges in Unificationism is based on the concept of “indemnity.” The underlying thesis of this model is that challenges are “caused” by sins, evils, and problems from the past. Other religions also use this sin-redemption approach to challenge. This model is one that looks backwards in time, but is this retrospective approach the only model that Unificationism offers?
I suggest that a model based on the Unificationist concept of the “original human nature” sets out a forward-looking model. I argue that human life is “originally” designed as challenge-and-response. In other words, some challenges (not all) are an intrinsic part of life.
By Jim Stephens
I’m almost 65, but many tell me I look very young for my age. Probably the major reason for this is I have been blessed with a wonderful wife. She understood from the beginning that one of the basic emotional, mental, and physical needs of a man, husband, and father is regular sexual relations about three times a week. And we are still doing it.
I studied engineering in college and I like things that are practical and down to earth. I encountered the revelations of Rev. Sun Myung Moon when I was 24. Over the last 40 years, I’ve had profound spiritual insights and experiences with God. For five years, I co-led with my wife the Blessed Family Department and studied all about marriage enrichment and research. More recently, I became a certified practitioner of an energy healing technique.
Recently, three men revealed to me in brief conversations that they wanted more sex with their wives. Then the pieces began falling into place and a strong impression came over me to write on this topic. Brothers and sisters could be so much happier, joyful, and fulfilled in their marriages than they are. The understanding that God “downloaded” to me I’m calling “God’s Original Design for Sex: Three Times a Week.”
By Michael Mickler
Unificationists would do well to review accounts of Christianity’s rise, particularly the role of inter-marriage in its penetration of the Roman Empire.
One astute analysis is that of Rodney Stark, an eminent American sociologist of religion, who distinguishes between “primary” and “secondary” conversions in his Rise of Christianity: How the Obscure Marginal Jesus Movement Became the Dominant Religious Force in the Western World in a Few Centuries (1997) and The Triumph of Christianity: How the Jesus Movement Became the World’s Largest Religion (2011).
According to Stark, “In primary conversion, the convert takes an active role in his or her own conversion.” Secondary conversion, he says, “is more passive and involves a somewhat more reluctant acceptance of a faith on the basis of attachments to a primary convert.” Agreeing to “go along” with one’s spouse’s faith is an example of this.
Based upon this distinction, Stark argues that exogamous marriage (with pagans) and secondary conversions were “crucial to the rise of Christianity.”
By Ye-Jin Moon
Note: This is an adaptation of a more detailed paper written for “The Unification Movement” course (LTR 1551) at UTS. Ye-Jin Moon consented to have an abridged version published on the AU blog.
On January 7, 2013, True Mother made a truly momentous and historical announcement that from that date forward we in the Unification Movement (UM) should be addressing God not just as Heavenly Father, but as “Heavenly Parent,” which necessarily implies that God is equally Heavenly Father as well as Heavenly Mother.
In the UM, it had been customary to address God in the masculine as Heavenly Father, mainly because of the influence coming from the Old and New Testament Ages when God was regularly viewed in the masculine. However, if we are now living in Cheon Il Guk or “God’s Homeland,” the very first issue we need to address is who God is or why God is the Heavenly Parent of Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother (HP of HF/HM).
By Kathy Winings
(This is an excerpt from the full 2011 article published in the Journal of Unification Studies)
The cornerstone of the Divine Principle is its emphasis on the original ideal of God and the subsequent ontological understanding of men and women. The first chapter outlines the basic principle that guided the creation and interrelatedness of all life forms with God and provides a clear description of our ultimate purpose of life as God originally intended. An important component of that principle concerns the description of human beings as having a spiritual body and a physical body. Divine Principle further explains the process of growth and development for human beings as envisioned by God and describes how and in what way these two “bodies” interconnect.
By John Redmond
There is an old movie called The Poseidon Adventure, where a passenger ship has an accident and capsizes. The passengers are all freaked out and although there is trapped air to breathe for a while, everything is upside down and all the passengers have different ideas about the best way out though multiple, dark, inverted passageways. Groups of them argue and head off in different directions, most coming to a cold and lonely end.
Feel a shiver?
Our organization is heading off in many directions. Some want to build churches along the Christian “praise church” model, with home churches becoming traditional churches becoming megachurches. Others produce banquet events, seeking to publicize aspects of Unification values. Still others have gone to the business world seeking to make a foundation for a future time when the money will be spent well.