By Henry Christopher, UTS Class of 1980
The scholarly study of religion and theology helps us to understand concepts of God, as well as beliefs, traditions, institutions, and behaviors of the various world religions. Many of these religions have some concepts about the coming of an ideal world, a “Kingdom of Heaven on Earth.” However, it seems that religious scholars, for whatever reason, steer wide of describing what that world will be like, and how people will transition from this world of suffering to a world of peace and happiness.
Some day it might be interesting to find a graduate level course in a seminary offering an Introduction to an Ideal World. It would have great appeal for someone who has been wondering what life would be like—from a Judeo-Christian point of view—if Adam and Eve had obeyed God, and an ideal world had begun. Is that world still attainable?
The course would be based upon discovering what the nature and character of an ideal human being originally was meant by God to be like.
The ideal human being might be likened to a golden urn, discovered on the ocean floor, and encrusted with so many layers of seashells and sand, that when first found, would be nearly unidentifiable. It would be the work of this course to carefully remove, layer by layer all the debris encrusted over the hearts and minds of fallen humankind, until the original character of the true sons and daughters of God was revealed, and could shine in its natural beauty.
What would “a day in the life” be like, if humans were truly loving, honest, trustworthy, patient, humble, happy, secure, confident but not arrogant, good, moral, pure of heart, and decent? What would the world be like if we lived by the tenets: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind, and love your neighbor as you love yourself,” “It is better to give than to receive,” or “Live for the sake of others”?
These principles are elucidated in Unification Thought, which explains that God’s desire for Adam and Eve and their descendants was to become beings of Divine Character. “When human beings come to inherit God’s heart, they feel a strong desire to love everyone and everything. Only in this way, can “the gap between the haves and have-nots, the rich and the poor—the reality of exploitation in the world—come to naturally disappear.”
If children grew up in loving homes, in a society without fear, ignorance, anxiety, depression, poverty, broken families, abuses of all kinds, war, hopelessness, feelings of racial and individual inferiority, etc., how would that affect our lives and our world?
In order to imagine the creation of an ideal world, we should investigate the historical processes of politics, economics and social relations to discover how, and to what degree they have not developed from the love of God maturing in mankind, but from man’s self-centered need to control others, and dominate resources and wealth—a constant feudal trend in human interactions which have been imbedded in the human psychic from nearly the beginning of time.
Then we should consider how interactions between people, organizations and nations might have developed if we had stayed on track with God’s hope for humankind. Perhaps God never envisioned the existence of nations, and the numerous languages and cultures that have arisen which have kept people apart.
We might actually now be so far from “normal” from God’s perspective, that it would take some very careful thought and examination to come to an accurate assessment of what life in a “True World” would be like.
In constructing a prototype of an ideal world, we would have to make decisions on what aspects of present-day life—which have evolved over the long history of fallen man—should be kept, and which should be discarded.
Even an elementary school child, if asked, could easily come up with a few things that are essential in today’s world, but would not be needed in an ideal world, like armies and navies, weapons of war and mass destruction, or maximum security prisons, for example.
But other similar questions might be tougher to answer, like how much security at home, in our communities, in colleges or the mall is needed? Will we need locks on our doors, passwords in our computers? Which laws, rules, regulations, and restrictions do we want to keep, knowing that much of the work of government and its regulatory agencies is to protect us from ourselves and each other?
Contemplating the ideal world, we might be guided by the standard summed up in the words of Rev. Sun Myung Moon, when he explained that “[God] governs through law, a law of governance through love.”
Practically everyone today seems to feel that government is infringing on our freedoms more and more—a “necessary evil” they say. Which necessary evils would we no longer need in an ideal world?
Would politics, locally, nationally and internationally as we know it today, be jettisoned to lighten the heavy burden of the long centuries of humankind living in defiance of God, and as enemies of one another? What would take its place? What form of government will we be happy with — if any?
Would the conflicts between religions be resolved, or, in an ideal world where God and humans live in good communication and harmony, would religion finally be put aside?
College curriculums need to be examined to decide which studies are no longer relevant or needed, such as much of psychology, international conflict resolution, law, criminal justice, etc. Many professions might fall by the wayside, including lawyers, judges and court and prison personnel, police, security guards, and the like.
Would even money and profit be part of an ideal world, or is money itself an affront to God? After all, in today’s world, the value of just about anything either God-made or human-made is decided in terms of how much money it’s worth. But God didn’t create money, doesn’t need it, and does not use money as a method of valuing the goodness and beauty of the things He created.
According to Divine Principle, revealed by Rev. Moon, “…it is God who sets the standard of value” of an entity, which “is established through the mutual relationship between the purpose of the entity…and people’s original desire to treasure it and bring out its true worth.”
The world has long based its economics on concepts of shortages and supply and demand. But in our ignorance of God, we little understand or realize that in God’s world, there is an absolute over-abundance of everything, just as there are leaves on the trees, grains of sand in the sea, and countless seeds in most plant life.
If so, it would seem rather funny for us to try and make a “profit” by selling things as plentiful in the universe as air, or ice to an Eskimo. Only because we see resources and the energy to make things in short supply, rather than in natural abundance, does a profit motive exist.
There is also the relationship between the spiritual world and physical world to consider. Were they meant originally to be as different as they appear to be, where in the spiritual world, it is said you can just think of someone, and be instantly with them, or desire a delicious meal, and it just appears in front of you, but on earth we seem to have little of that ability and power?
Or is it possible that due to the fall of man, we lost some natural powers and abilities that were our birthright, and should have been given to every man, woman and child on earth?
We may actually have incredible undiscovered spiritual powers like supermen and women. Instead of constantly being at war with nature, we might actually figure out how to provide for our basic needs of housing, clothing and food and also live in harmony with the universe. We would become the loving guardians and caretakers of the creation, instead of endangering the natural world in our relentless pursuit of natural resources and domination over creation.
What if we could, with our mental powers alone, harness atomic or some even higher form of energy to move things? How then could the power and gas companies charge us for energy? If such human potential exists, God, up to now, could not allow us to develop it for fear of our own self-destruction. Yet the application of such “powers” would alter human life completely.
All these questions would have to be taken into consideration in order to draw the blueprints for the ideal being and an ideal world. After all, doesn’t an architect need blueprints before he asks the builder to construct his dream building?
Unless God some day is planning a miracle to convert swords into plowshares overnight, we are probably going to have to work out much of this ourselves, but with God’s help. Let the religious scholars of a new age lead the way into the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth. It may be religion’s last unfinished task in this world.♦