God as the Heavenly Parent of Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother

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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.

Ye-jin MoonOn 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).

Let me pursue a brief inquiry into why during “restoration” or “indemnity” history Heavenly Mother’s existence was obscured. Given the UM’s claim that this is the cosmically historic and revolutionary “era of women” in which woman’s lost equal value is regained, it also is critical to comprehend why Heavenly Parent is gender-balanced and equally empowered Heavenly Mother as well as Heavenly Father.

In “An Inquiry into God as Our Heavenly Parents” on the Applied Unificationism Blog (posted May 20, 2013), Dr. Tyler Hendricks argues that to call God first and foremost “Heavenly Parent” (in the singular as opposed to Heavenly Parents in the plural) is “androgynous” and makes God “a trans-gendered existence that is neither male nor female in any common sense meaning.”

He further pronounces that Heavenly Mother is not co-equal to Heavenly Father but that “Heavenly Father’s creative, initiating love brought forth His Object Partner [Heavenly Mother] from nothing [emphasis added] into full personhood.” According to Dr. Hendricks, Heavenly Mother was never a part of God the Cause or the Origin, but only a part of the Effect or Result, indeed the final result, of Heavenly Father’s creative acts.

I argue to the contrary that God, the only origin, the eternal, self-existent, perfect (Matt. 5:48), and “absolute reality,” should be addressed as the Heavenly Parent of Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother. Understanding this argument necessitates distinguishing God’s movement before God chose to create and after God chose to create and came to co-exist with the created dual spiritual/physical worlds.

God in the Origin position prior to Creation can only be viewed as the undivided, all-encompassing Original Oneness as the only Original Being in existence prior to any creation. One cannot yet divide God into any categories such as “Dual Positions” or “Dual Characteristics” even if such characteristics are innate within God and later manifested into the creation.

Even after God made the choice to create, one would still need to separate the point when God first established the “Heartistic” Will, Purpose, Ideology, or the Divine Principle (DP) as to how God would bring about the Entire Creation from when God began in earnest the actual implementation or substantiation.

It would be at this point when God had established the Will to create prior to embarking on the Creative Process, that God’s innate “Dual Characteristics” or Dual Positions began to emerge outwardly, ready to substantiate into the Creation throughout the Creative Process. Thereafter, with the last substantiation of human beings, the Heavenly Parent in Will finally became the Heavenly Parent of Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother.

The Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother sides would indicate God’s participation in the Effect position consummated in male and female human beings who are each the “sum total” of the Entire Creation or the culmination of all the “Dual Characteristics” or Dual Positions employed throughout the Creative Process. God’s last creative act ended with not just one human person, but with two human persons of equal value.

The dynamics between the Heavenly Parent’s Origin position to the Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother’s Effect position can be better understood when one considers why the numerical value of each of all three positions (Heavenly Parent, Heavenly Father, and Heavenly Mother) is one, totaling the three positions to be numerically three. The Exposition of the Divine Principle’s statement that “God is one absolute reality in whom the dual characteristics [positions] interact in harmony,” and therefore God is “a Being of the number three” supports this argument.

Once God chose to create and partake in His/Her Creation, it is only accurate to address God as the Heavenly Parent of Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother (HP of HF/HM), for God alone and none of the Creation, including human beings, has made a movement from the Origin (Heavenly Parent) to the Effect (Heavenly Father/Heavenly Mother) positions. For the sake of brevity, however, one may address God as the Heavenly Parent (HP) as that is the Origin position already anticipating the manifestation of HP’s Fatherhood (being Heavenly Father) and Motherhood (being Heavenly Mother) to human beings at the end of the Creative Process.

In this way, when a person invokes the Heavenly Parent, one would be wishing to relate to a harmonized opinion of Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother. However, at times, when one wishes to address specifically either Heavenly Father or Heavenly Mother’s side, one may very well do so, as that would be similar to approaching one’s human father or human mother for different reasons.

Dr. Hendrick’s suggestion that God in Origin is exclusively “Heavenly Father,” and that “Heavenly Mother” is merely a part of the creation is completely incorrect on two fronts. First, it denigrates God’s Original Being by dividing God into Dual Positions of Father/Mother when the manifestations of such Dual Positions are only the consequences of God having chosen to create. Second, when he makes such an unsubstantiated claim that “Heavenly Father” predated “Heavenly Mother,” he is in fact acknowledging that God, the Original Oneness Being, is not “perfect.”

Dr. Hendrick’s unequal and prejudiced treatment towards “Heavenly Father” and “Heavenly Mother” typifies a culturally conditioned, unequal view of the value of man and woman which has nothing to do with Heavenly Parent’s Purpose of Creation, but everything to do with the Fall.

Through the Fall, HP of HF/HM’s Hope of Ideal through human perfection was thwarted; the subversion of the Cosmic “Four-Position Foundation” had occurred; and the humanity to come through Adam and Eve on the collective level had fallen below the physical-self-only creations that do not have the spiritual senses to perceive spiritual reality.

The process of the Fall had begun with archangel Lucifer tempting Adam and Eve with his un-Principled ideology of human fornication with the lower creation or an angel. Thereafter, once Eve committed the sexual fall with the archangel, a lower creation, and then Adam committed the sexual fall with the unrestored Eve, since sexuality unites partners into one, both Adam and Eve, who represented the humanity to come on the collective level, were implicated by the sexual intercourse with the lower creation, thereby lowering human value below the physical-self only creations who engage in instinctive sexuality.

Although on the collective level, both Adam and Eve were together implicated with sexual sins, on the individual level, since Eve committed the “double sins” with the lower creation and then with Adam, womankind, the collective extension of Eve, came to occupy a differing position. Also, because of the Fall and womankind’s lowered position than that of mankind’s owing to Eve’s choice, Heavenly Mother’s existence was obscured, and humanity has yet to learn deeply about who Heavenly Mother is.

Only when humanity can finally learn to connect to Heavenly Mother will we be able to regain the complete and balanced understanding of who our Heavenly Parent truly is as equal and harmonious Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother. Only when we clearly grasp Heavenly Parent of Heavenly Father/Heavenly Mother’s original identity will those who claim that God is the “Heavenly Parents” comprised of a pre-existent “Heavenly Father” and a created “Heavenly Mother,” an after-the-fact creation, be quieted.

It is high time that we human beings mature in understanding and offer Heavenly Parent of Heavenly Father/Heavenly Mother the due respect S/He deserves, that S/He alone is the “Being of number three” who has moved from the Origin or Causal Position to the Effect Position. It is time we clearly perceive who God our Ultimate Parent is. God alone is the Cause as well as the Effect; God alone is the Heavenly Parent of equally empowered and harmonious Heavenly Father as well as Heavenly Mother.♦

Ye-Jin Moon, the eldest daughter of Rev. and Mrs. Sun Myung Moon, has been taking graduate courses at UTS. She is working on various topics relating to the Gender and Dual Positional balanced Divine Principle Ideology

51 thoughts on “God as the Heavenly Parent of Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother

  1. Thank you, Ye-Jin Moon, for your article on True Mother and Heavenly Mother in the Godhead.

    Your reference to the original May 2013 AU Blog post demonstrates how True Father’s own words are sometimes completely disregarded by leadership. I call it “selective listening.”

    As I’ve shared here before, in the autumn of 2007 at East Garden, True Father spoke about the creation of Adam and Eve. He said: “Adam and Eve were created simultaneously as twins like two peas in a pod.” Furthermore, he reiterated, “both were the substantial body of God” and “each was equidistant from the Godhead.” They were “equal pillars of God’s creation.” Each could see the world and “perceive the Divine Principle and the creation as the harmony of opposites.”

    Not only is this revolutionary theology to the ears of the old cultural Jewish theology that Eve was born from Adam’s rib and not the substantial body of God as Adam, but it is scientifically aligned with the Divine Principle notion of O-D-U action: origin, division and union. It is a revelation from True Father that dispels the myth that Eve was inferior to Adam and not part of the origin of the human family in form and content. That Adam and Eve, were “dizygotic twins,” as Jonathan Wells identifies the term, clarifies that they were both from the origin of humankind, although not identical in gender, which would be “monozygotic twins” or identical twins.

    True Father also admonished a male leader in the front row at East Garden for his way of relating to women leaders: “So, would you kill your sister?” He stood over the head of one leader who had recently “fired” a woman leader from his office, and he looked right into that leader’s eyes. This admonishment reinforced for me his words on several other occasions that “Father was not a chauvinist, as some people think I am” and that he valued both male and female leadership equally. He said, “God needs leaders; I don’t care if they are male or female….”

    Father’s account of the creation event was also conveyed to Dr. Young Oon Kim in a personal conversation with her that she recounted to her 1982 theology class farewell dinner for women that I helped organize.

    This revelation about the equal origin of Adam and Eve at the creation event of humanity is also revolutionary for the emergence of “the Double Messiah” as the True Parents of Humankind. It buttresses our theological understanding that Jesus did not come to be a single male Messiah as God’s original plan and that God’s intention was for the restoration of Adam and Eve as the equal substantial representations of the Godhead.

    Yes, the nuns in the Catholic Church have good reason to keep pressing on for the ordination of female priests as well as the marriage of priests as providential restoration events.

  2. For some time, True Mother said that God was now to be called “Heavenly Parents” (plural), not “Heavenly Parent,” as Ye-Jin Moon states. In fact, TM and her representatives many times pointed out the correct usage as being “Heavenly Parents,” not the singular version of the term. So what gives? Has a revisionist been at work here, or is it something else? Please be honest, since this has been such a sensitive, and confusing, topic for so many, for so long.

    [Editor’s note: In a memo dated Feb. 9, 2013 from FFWPU International Headquarters, the singular term, “Heavenly Parent,” is designated to be used in English. The original Korean term may leave room for interpretation.]

  3. Korean does not distinguish between singular and plural like Western languages. “하늘 부모님” can be transliterated as either “Heavenly Parent” or “Heavenly Parents” at the discretion of the translator. Depending on the context or related factors, the translator may feel it appropriate to emphasize either God’s unity, or God’s duality.

  4. This is a very interesting paper, as it directly addresses one of several things I have been wondering about since True Father’s ascension initiated a new wave. I tend to be pretty simple-minded in my faith — a good thing because it is the reason the sincerity of True Parents and Divine Principle were able to reach me. So please forgive me for that.

    In prayer, I address God as “Heavenly Father and Mother.” It comes from my heart. After the prayer gets rolling I am back to using “Father.” The reason is mostly habit. I honor and love God with my whole heart. My prayers are mostly anguished cries that have nothing to do with intellect. I recognized that God was both male and female 40 years ago, the very second I realized why the world and creation need a co-equal husband and wife messiah. That was when the lightbulb went on, when the final puzzle piece was handed to me. Yes, I said, the messiah can be none other than a couple who are completely one and act as one. So regarding Heavenly Father and Mother, I was there before it was cool.

    The fact that True Father spoke unhesitatingly about how to manage our sexual parts, was all the confirmation I needed. Human sexuality is the big elephant in the room — since the dawn of time — and at last a messiah came along who was able to look it square in the eye.

    God may well be the Heavenly Parent of Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother. I don’t have a strong opinion either way because it does not impact my life of faith. My own father’s formal title would be Physical Father of Larry Moffitt, but he wants me to call him “Dad.” So until I begin feeling spiritually chastised for my current prayer format, I will soldier on.

    As for God being equally male and female, I confess to woeful ignorance about differences between “before creation” and “after creation.” However, taken from personal experience in creating things, I don’t think God could create a woman if He did not have a full dose of every aspect of womanhood already within Him. (I refer to God as “He” in this response because I find “S/He,” although well-intentioned and even necessary, to be awkward for me.)

    Thank you again for this paper, and thank you to this website for making it available.

  5. A point of clarification please:

    The author states: “God is the Heavenly Parent of Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother (HP of HF/HM).” Does this phrase mean to convey that the Creator is the Heavenly Parent and that Sun Myung Moon is now to be called “Heavenly Father” and Hak Ja Han is now to be called “Heavenly Mother”? Or, does the phrase intend to convey that God is the Heavenly Parent of God’s own identity as a Heavenly Father and a Heavenly Mother?

    • Good question, David.

      I think the author is trying to express your second statement. The concept of Christology is so interesting. This doesn’t mean that Sun Myung Moon is “Heavenly Father,” but the external form of Him. The body of God, as Christ Jesus was.

      The title of his last speech, which he gave all over the world, was “…for the Proclamation of the Word by God’s Substantial Self,” meaning, True Father wrote it and he is the substantial self of God.

  6. So happy to hear that Ye Jin Moon, our precious elder sister, is taking classes at the Seminary. Clearly she has her parents’ great mind for understanding theological concepts. I hope we can hear more from her and see her as well. Thank you, Ye Jin Nim, for your sharing this deep understanding.

  7. Go girl! A few more insightful women like Ye Jin Moon and we might have a viable future of self-reflective, sincere people who can project this movement into the 21st century. Dr. Tyler Hendricks, I’m disappointed in you.

  8. I am most likely the most ignorant member in this room, but I have had a special blessing that I like to consider as an equalizer of sorts…a very intimate experience with God that brought me through life experiences and ultimately to our True Parents.

    I consider myself very lucky to have had some deep “hand holding” to help me get through so many bad decisions I made over the years. That said, my understanding of God as it relates to this matter….

    God is “one.” He is the combination of Masculine and Feminine characteristics, or a God of dual natures. There are not two entities in God, only one.

    The lead-in is that intertwined duality is the masculine expression of God as my “Heavenly Father.” He is the one that has been with me through my life and continues to guide me even today. I don’t know how many people would confirm the visions and voices of God in masculine or feminine in tone or form, but to me that is not the important part. It is in the reality of the experience that is significant.

    I must say that I have been very blessed to know True Parents directly and to grow to love them both as my True Parents, which I prefer to think of as my “True Mom and Dad.” They lifted me up and loved me more than I can express here. Although I only had short times with them, they were very intense and deeply meaningful times to me.

    I think God realized His nature more fully through manifesting His creativity in the creation. Male and Female He created them. Which came first, my wag of a guess is the male, since creation to me seems to be the dominant feature of masculine nature in action.

    But before you rail against that statement, understand I have no dog in this fight, and believe there is too much emphasis placed on gender differences these days. I don’t see greater value than to fully appreciate the dual characteristics expressed by the one God. To go down this road of “parity” or ranking serves only to disparage the beauty of God’s nature by segregating it into compartments.

    The true beauty of God is that duality makes for a synergy that cannot be assessed independently, much like the saying that the sum of the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. This topic should not be about man vs. woman or parity in roles. I think we should embrace the opportunity as separate creations to deepen our true love and appreciation for having been created with a distinction of characteristics that so increase our potential to be more than we could be as a singular entity.

    God made us to express those characteristics in profound ways. I don’t think anyone should be politicizing or disparaging such a wonderful opportunity to be what we were created to be, and instead, we should realize we all have the same embedded characteristics of our Creator within us, both male and female. It is in achieving the harmony of balance that we can rise to the potential we have been so blessed to receive.

    Thank you for reading this. I had the strong feeling to make a statement about this subject.

  9. It’s nice to hear everyone’s opinions on Ye-Jin Nim’s viewpoint and on Dr. Hendricks’ viewpoint. We are all students of God.

    Who is the authority? Is there an authority?

    The heart comes up with or picks the logic to express itself. Different hearts, different logic. There will probably be other explanations of God’s character and essence which are equally beautiful and inspiring. However, what troubles me is when there is lack of an actual ethical real life standard. True Mother and True Father even while living could be interpreted in vastly different ways and their children reinterpreting again, their own truth and viewpoint, and environment. A person, depending on their temperament, can twist, ignore, and accept truth. Therefore so much variation. So much said and so little to show. Still I yearn to be a part of some society actually living and practicing truth. I haven’t seen it and so far I haven’t been living it. I believe we humans are evolving, step by step, by the grace of God, to clarify truth and all its esoteric parts and to establish substantial goodness through true ethical behavior. God is one. God is good. God is male and female in perfect harmony. We are all in this together. Let’s make it real. Don’t take my word on it. Figure it out yourself.

  10. Thank you Larry, David, Stephen, Dennis, Beverly, and Betsy.

    We have the Divine Principle and TF own words to refer to:

    “God is the harmonized being of internal nature and external form, positivity and negativity, and
    masculinity and femininity existing in give and take action in a complementary and reciprocal relationship.”

    Not to beat a “dead horse,” which is the archangelic viewpoint that dominated the fallen creation until
    now…

    True Parents offered the way and process of restoration to get back to the original blueprint for true understanding and being. The true position of men and women, like the original Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden before the Fall, was that both were the origin of humankind (O-D-U) as one being that manifested physically as the imago dei (spirit and image of God) in the external form of two cells, or dizygotic twins, created simultaneously and revealing the Fatherhood and Motherhood of God as equal partners, equidistant from the Godhead and two pillars of creation, both in internal nature and external form. Both saw the principle of creation, which is the harmony of opposites, as they had the purity of perception in seeing with God’s eyes. Through maturing with give and take, these two embodiments of God were to unite again in relationship and form the ideal marriage of the first human family.

    Thus, Divine Principle is not only a correction and improvement on the Jewish myth that has dominated Christianity, but it is the revelation of the unity of religion and science. No being, whether in spirit or physical form, exists without dual characteristics. Modern physics also supports this scientific evidence. As Stephen reiterated, God is the oneness of all dual characteristics.

    This may sound like a chorus refrain, chiming in again and again. But, we now can sing this song into eternity.

    The fact that the male voice booms louder does not mean that he is the only original manifestation of God and/or a more real manifestation of the Godhead. The female voice is a bit softer and trying to be heard. But she was and is always there. And, for thousands of years, she has been waiting for her true Adam to acknowledge her voice and say, “there, there, sweet honey, you are my source of life, love and lineage….without you, my world and our world would not be true and able to exist.”

    • Donna, you expressed better than I could, what I am thinking. True Mother is not the “wife of the messiah,” but rather the fully co-equal messiah. Humanity not only needs both, but humanity needs both to walk side-by-side. That’s the whole point of the creation of men and women, and the reason why the reclamation of creation must necessarily be done by a man and woman together. It can be a difficult concept to grasp, but subject and object does not mean inequality. I know this is heresy, but that’s what seminaries are for.

    • Donna, I love the way you express the masculine/feminine dynamic in the last paragraph of your comment. It is in the joining in heart of both aspects that the two are truly elevated to a new level. I also feel that there has been a deep longing for the female aspect to be recognized, honored, cherished.

      This makes me think of Romans 8:19: “For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God.” The mother is like the earth: always providing, supporting, nurturing, nourishing, but, many times, she is taken for granted. We, as a society, have taken on the role of a conqueror, a more masculine role, and the earth has been pillaged and plundered. This is another example of the imbalance between the masculine and feminine energies. If this imbalance is not rectified, in time, we will all suffer.

      To maintain growth and continuous prosperity, we need to find the balance of both of those energies. For a marriage to be whole, for a family to be whole, both aspects need to harmonize and join that upward yin/yang harmony. All this is done in love; it has nothing to do with the ego, which only wants its own position and glory. In love, it is by elevating the other that we are elevated.

  11. I believe that my elder sister’s views are closer to mine than she thinks, and take the blame in not expressing my views well enough, and probably not having thought them through extensively enough. Re-reading what I wrote, it seems to me that what Ye-Jin Moon identifies as the HP of HF/ HM is what I identified as love itself infused with Principle. I just have a hard time seeing that as a person; I see gender as an attribute of personhood, and that a Parent is going to have to be a person, male or female.

    But perhaps that’s not right… is gender an attribute of personhood? If not, then we do open the door to sex-change. True Father made a strong point that one is born a man or a woman as fate.

    At the same time, we have “in His image, male and female.” So there you go.

    The apostle John said, God is love, and I can agree with that totally. How is love itself a person? So I may be swimming in depths I’m not ready for. That I’m a reflection of the Fall, nonetheless, is something I can’t deny. I’m not perfect yet.

    But I also made some reflections about the social impact of a gender-neutral / or androgynous God, that I still consider important. Yes, the HF-only God has problems as well, and so does the HM-only God in a few cultures, as far as I’ve read.

    To call God the HP of HF/HM is nicely Trinitarian, something to which to give serious consideration.

    • Thank you, Dr. Hendricks, and dear Ye-Jin Nim for your comments and points. Both of you are theologically rich people and God has blessed you so much for that.

      I like when our dear sister said, “at times, when one wishes to address specifically either Heavenly Father or Heavenly Mother’s side, one may very well do so.” I thought that was splendid! In prayer, I find myself talking to my Heavenly Father and Mother separately. At times, I call on or evoke both (Heavenly Parents) and at times I evoke the one and only God, the Heavenly Parent (God of Night).

      I believe Ye-Jin Nim is differentiating between the God of Night and the God of Day. And I think perhaps Dr. Hendricks and she are talking about the same being (not person), which he identified as “love itself infused with Principle.”

      True Father’s words:

      “The depth of true love incorporates everything, going all the way back to the beginning when God was born. You have no idea how deep it is! It started at the very origin of His existence. Even God has grown and developed. To the very depth of His beginning, He has had the same origin as true love. At the point of origin, God was not first; love was first.”

      • What if at point of origin of this multidimensional creation, much of it beyond the time and space definable by linear logic, there is no first and second? No hierarchy or “right” or “wrong” doctrine?

        A quantum reality may take quantum thinking to comprehend.

        God and Love sure are larger and perpetually newer than what the old wineskins of our demonstrated methods of thinking can handle. The absence of such basic awareness limits the intellectual refinements of most contributions in this forum severely, keeping them from making actual qualitative advances in applied theology.

    • I think if we worry about the issue of sex change we miss the point here:

      1. The perhaps biggest and most astonishing statement that DP reveals to wo/mankind is that God was lonely and because of this was seeking an object partner with whom to share joy.

      2. Because He could only create out from him/herself (same as we do in our imagination) he had to find the components to generate the magic of love. The result is the masculine and feminine aspects which in their mutual attraction generate love.

      3. What husband and wife in oneness really means we will find out sooner or later, and is determined by our relationship with our spouse. We only know that the kingdom of heaven starts from there.

  12. Nice discussion. Language is, by its nature, a source of division. ODU? Some research on the semantics turned up this for me…

    “Exodus 3.14
    ‘And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me to you.’
    What an answer! On the surface it would seem that God didn’t tell Moses much of anything. But this verse contains the very nature of God. The phrase “I AM THAT I AM” is meant to be understood metaphysically; it means God is BEING. And what is BEING? BEING is that which is both the un-manifested (spirit) and that which is manifested (physical matter) at the same time. God is the sum total of both — the unborn infinite potential and the creation. God is truly ONE!”

    Divine Principle, Principle of Creation 1.2:
    “God exists as the incorporeal subject partner to all beings.”

    God is not a problem. I am.

  13. How will this overdue public expression of this age-old insight affect the actual flow of Heavenly Mother’s love into the hearts of those brothers and sisters who have suffered so from the gaping discrepancy between DP doctrine and practice?

  14. Father once said, “The truth for a hungry man is food, not abstract teachings.”

    Was Ye-Jin Nim’s clarity on this not “known truth” before this paper was written?

    Then why was the flow of motherly love in the UM so restricted at such high cost?

    Would a mother’s heart not outflow of her love in this, our UM, even before academic justification has been articulated?

  15. “A life not reflected upon is not worth living,” said Socrates.

    Perhaps it stands equally significant that a movement not able to reflect upon itself is not worth keeping around.

    How refreshing to have our Eldest Sister venture into these grounds.

    I agree with Fred that to make her clearly written insight meaningful requires translating it into practice:

    – Owning up to past hurt of brothers and sisters who have given their all with a pure heart, yet been driven away due to a one-sided, left-brained legalistic interpretation and treatment in the UM.

    – Updating our present attitudes and practices.

    – Taking responsibility via making public amends to those who have been hurt by us not living up to our own belief system.

    Will we move closer to unite the (academic) head and heart of this once so genuine movement?

  16. It is so wonderful that Ye-Jin Nim has finally and beautifully initiated with her own writings a debate on the issue of the equality in the fatherhood and motherhood of God. This is very positive. It is opening new nuances for discussion, reflection, reasoning and understanding of this subject, which is, in my opinion, a top priority for the liberated God after Foundation Day and also a priority for us to really march towards the Cheon Il Guk.

    The essence of God, Divine Principle and Creation are founded on the concepts and principles of two dualities: Internal Nature and External Form, and Original Masculinity and Original Femininity. From those two dualities spring all the other dualities of the cosmos. The study of these two primary dualities and the implications for the created world, but most importantly for the life and happiness of human beings, should have been the focus of the UM since the founding of HSA-UWC. It should be the focus for all of us now after Foundation Day, as we march towards actualizing Cheon Il Guk under the guidance of our True Mother. We should deeply thank Ye-Jin Nim for leading the discussion on this priority subject for God today.

    • And what would you like this discussion to lead to? More left-brained mere academic gallantry in a rather inbred circle or the actual unleashing of Heavenly Mother?

  17. As we know, the fall was brought about by the fallen archangel, Lucifer (a male), when he left his position in tempting Eve. Eve was a young girl being raised by God (Heavenly Parent) and the three archangels. To say that Eve should bear the major responsibility or fault because of the fall is not to see the full picture. Eve disobeyed God absolutely, but was groomed by Lucifer the whole time she was growing up. He answered her questions, taught her, and knew God’s creative nature in greater detail than did Eve. As she was coming of age, her eyes might have been opened, but she was also vulnerable at the young age (14-16 years old). To me, it would be like saying that quite an older man who tempted your own daughter to fall was less responsible that the daughter herself. This is the sadness that God felt through history as well in seeing the degeneration of women, created from His/Her own attributes. Heavenly Mother could never properly be portrayed, and God waited millennia for the day when humanity could really understand what God was. When True Mother made the suggestion that we call God “Heavenly Parent,” she already has been able to see the full reflection of God.

  18. My understanding has always been that the God of creation (the one and only God) is the harmonized Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother and that we have addressed God as heavenly Father exclusively due to the assertive (masculine) nature of God’s Providence of restoration.

    The notion that there is an “Original God” and a secondary God who we refer to as Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother is well worth discussion.

    I look forward to a clearer understanding of Ye Jin Nim’s assertion.

  19. I see change coming to a movement near you….Watch for the extremist wing to push for social justice and equality through policy mandates, more restrictions on how we worship, and the push towards excluding diversity in the name of fairness and equality. Guess we will be seeing the Pledge changed, the DP historically revised along with the CSG, and all references to God’s masculine expression of His nature balanced in expression of protocols, procedures and any other noteworthy events. Sad to see such efforts manifest in the name of Love.

      • It is plain to see. Our global Unification policy should always be formulated with the goal of highest achievement. We are currently witnessing the push to compromise policy to allow incremental dilution of that achievement. That is not acceptable from a global big picture perspective. Sure people fail to make the grade, but to standardize lower achievement by diluting policy is anathema to God’s will and perspective for each of our life’s offering. God can save us all through modulating our individual course, but He will never surrender His will to incremental dilution of His original plan. Current efforts are more than conversation, they are efforts to reformat our views and values on a universal scale.

  20. Hopefully women will also see that men can be true men when we stand in the proper position — one of not dominating, but encouraging and uplifting. 😉

  21. I have some questions and comments regarding comments made in the opening paragraphs.

    1) “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.”

    I thought the reason for our calling Heavenly Parent “Heavenly Father” until recently, was based in the following words in the Principle textbook…

    “In summary, God is the Subject in whom the dual characteristics of original internal nature and original external form are in harmony. At the same time, God is the harmonious union of masculinity and femininity, which manifest the qualities of original internal nature and original external form, respectively. In relation to the universe, God is the subject partner having the qualities of internal nature and masculinity.” “In recognition of God’s position as the internal and masculine subject partner, we call Him “Our Father.”

    At least this has been my reason for calling Heavenly Parent “Heavenly Father” until recently.

    2) “…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).”

    I initially thought this meant to say that Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother are children of God, but upon reading it again it seems to mean that “…God is the harmonious union of masculinity and femininity.” I think this fits with Ye-Jin Nim’s comment that “…Heavenly Parent is gender-balanced”.

    3) If the dual characteristics within God were perfectly balanced, there would be no basis for rotation or revolution. Taking planets orbiting the sun as examples, none of them has perfectly circular orbits. They are elliptical, that is, out of balance… yet, they are also perfectly harmonious with the purpose of the system and all other components within the system. Balance and harmony are not the same thing.

    4) I think the main point which is getting people here is one of “order and equality.” Are men and women actually equal? …and, is this true of the masculinity and femininity within Heavenly Parent? …or not?

    Clearly, the Divine Principle shows there’s an order; Heavenly Parent; man; woman; children. That’s it… order… simple! But what about equality? Surely, each member of the family can’t have equal positions to each other… that would be unprincipled and chaotic, causing problems.

    I think the answer is found in the following section of Unification Thought (please read from the paragraph beginning with “In the democratic world…”).

    • Masculine and Feminine within God (and by extension within an incarnate couple) must be absolute equals otherwise they could not unite, or the union would be unstable. Whilst it might unstable for purpose within the atoms or molecules for example. That purpose is always because of a tendency to higher purpose higher being. Since the substantiation of True Parents within our couple is the end goal of being, a total consumption within the love of God and between one another, position is an illusion, a temporary waypoint on the way to the summit. In fact that order changes as we grow and mature. It may change in response to circumstances to serve the needs of the family. The end point, the couple in perfection, is an absolute union of equals. In one speech Father asks ‘Do you think that when he created love, God secretly reserved some portion for himself?’ If we lived absolutly for the sake of our spouse, in that absolute surrender to one another, how can there be anything other than absolute equality.

    • The problem here is that you try to fit four-dimensional existences into three dimensions. When it says in UT that the dual characteristics exist in oneness within God (identity maintaining four position foundation), then it is clear that from here the Alpha or Word has its origin or beginning (the developing four position foundation). Balance, harmony, and rotation are symbols which try to explain it, e.g., the appearance of the universe is used to explain the interaction in the microcosm (particles, atoms, etc.); it does not, however, picture the reality as such. It makes assumptions and conclusion based on a theory that works until a new phenomenon appears such as the Higgs boson particle that puts a question mark on this model. It is a bit like explaining to a blind person how the world looks. Since our spiritual eyes are largely closed we cannot explain this reality in full detail and rely on revelations from heaven. To get a full picture of it, however, there is a limit, because of our physical brain. The shortcut to it is our intuition (the highest spiritual sense that is given to us) that is tuned with heaven.

  22. Regardless of what the best term for God is, I’m not sure people like being “instructed” how they should address God. I actually like what Mother said, and I like the idea of referring to God as Heavenly Parent and will do so on occasion because I agree it is a good form of address — but I do not like being told to do so.

    My relationship with God is my own, and fallen or not, or True Parents or not, I am an adult and must take all the responsibility for not only my misdeeds but those of my ancestors, nation and world.

    • Peter, I think the Unification Movement and One World Family under God, require a common understanding and unified traditions, rather than individualistic interpretations. Clear and loving instructions should therefore be needed and welcome – that can give both security and beautiful feelings. A lack of that brings unease and lack of unified strength I believe. It is a bit disheartening therefore that many basic understandings aren’t so clear even until now, after Foundation Day, partly also because of Korean/English language misunderstandings. For some reason, our True Father was stressing Father and (eldest) son very much in his numerous speeches, while also stressing the wonderful and incredible importance of the Mother’s love, care, guidance and presence. Of course in a sense I feel a bit disturbed as most people didn`t have too many problems with the term Heavenly Father …. the words parent, Father/ Mother themselves still make me think a lot of physical parenthood.

  23. God could not have made women if He did not already have the nature of women in himself. In the same manner, God could not appear if the elements of women were not already there. It is the impression of an artist.

  24. As Donna mentioned, DP says it well: “God is the harmonized being of internal nature and external form, positivity and negativity, and masculinity and femininity existing in give and take action in a complementary and reciprocal relationship.” When I think of, or pray to God, I don’t think of gender. DP may have certain semantic issues, but the idea of a supreme being that has dual characteristics seems unambiguous. The patriarchic model that has been a part of almost all known cultures is obviously a factor, but DP is “a new expression of truth,” and in this particular case DP provides a clear expression that values both aspects of God’s divine nature.

  25. Translations from East to West are complex. People working on synthesizing A. N. Whitehead (West) with Chu Shi (East), for example, in theology and philosophy, have created a whole methodology to deal with translation and cultural implications embedded in vocabulary; it is complex. Likewise, the age we just left behind is called the “patriarchal world” which emphasizes the male often at the expense of the female. The notion of True Parents changes that as does the general trend of thought in recent times from the Renaissance through the 20th Century in particular.

    What might also be of significance is the imbalance found within individuals. In principle the intuitive unconscious is generally viewed as a feminine dynamic, and the rational intellect is posited as being masculine. The terms “anima” and “animus” provide us with a feminine element in the male and a masculine element in the female. This is supported in CSG. Thus if the self is out of kilter in this way, the interpretations of cosmos, world and ideas will also be problematic. To be honest, I have already heard one academic involved in translation voice prejudice against artists. This reveals a bias against the feminine basically, so translations and interpretations are suspect to some degree. I think there are translation questions, cultural questions, and personal restoration questions here, often bundled together. Yet from widespread studies masculine cannot function creatively without feminine so a heightened respect for both might serve us well.

  26. We have to clarify the difference of this way of calling Heavenly Father and Heavenly Parent.

    First of all, absolutely it is not Heavenly Parents. It must be Heavenly Parent. Also we have to clarify 100% that we cannot call Heavenly Parents and there is no Heavenly Mother. If we call Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother, we destroy the Principle because I believe it becomes dualism. True Father never called God as Heavenly Mother in his life. At the God’s day midnight prayer in 2010, True Father started his prayer with Heavenly Parent. (Of course he prayed in that way at that time but after that True Father started his prayer mostly with Heavenly Father)

    There are some language issues. The Korean word “Pu Mo (父母)” consists of two Chinese characters which is Pu (父) and Mo (母). This could be both parents, father and mother but this often means just “parent” which means either father or mother.

    This is the conclusion. We can call God as Heavenly Father. We can call God as Heavenly Parent. Both are right.

    God can be called as Heavenly Father from the perspective of subject and object partners. When we call God as Heavenly Father, that is because God exists as masculine subject partner (男性格主体). God is in the subject position and the human being is in the object position. This universal relationship will never change.

    True Father explained this issue so many times very clearly. However, True Father never explained why we should call God Heavenly Parent just focusing on this topic but when you read Father’s words relating with the relationship between God as Heavenly Parent and Adan and Eve as earthly parents, we can understand the meaning of why we call God as Heavenly Parent. In the past we have heard the word “Heavenly Parent” many times in different contexts such as “God is the Heavenly Parent of humankind. God is the vertical Parent.”

    We know True Father and True Mother are completely one in true love. It means God can dwell in the midst of the union of True Parents. Besides, on Foundation day, God got married. We have heard the marriage of Adam and Eve is God’s marriage. God’s wife is True Mother. Once the subject partner and the object partner can be united in love completely, those positions can be changeable. We can say God can live in True Father, God can live in True Mother or True Father and True Mother can live in God. Simply speaking, they are completely one in True Love. DP says “God is the Subject in whom the dual characteristics of original internal nature and original external form are in harmony. At the same time, God is the harmonious union of masculinity and femininity, which manifest the qualities of original internal nature and original external form, respectively.” This kind of God is now manifested through True Parents.

    Heavenly Parent represents this: God became completely one with True Father as His son and God is also living truly with True Mother as His wife.

  27. It is more logical to address God as Heavenly Parents, Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother. In Gen. 1:26, God said let us make man in our image, man and woman. This statement in the Old Testament signifies that HF was talking with HM, not to anyone else. If you assume that HF was talking with His servant Lucifer, then there’s no question that Lucifer would have had authority over man. But, it is illogical for a father in a family to talk with his servant about his plan of having children, instead, of course, with his wife. In TF’s speech during his nationwide tour in Korea January 8-15, 2012, he mentioned about the God of night and the God of Day. Also, TF mentioned that if there were only one God, there would have been no flood judgement during the time of Noah, but a fire judgement. TF also mentioned that the God of night and the God of day are separate. Also in some speeches, TF said HF asked him if he knows Heavenly Mother; if you call Heavenly Father, there must also be Heavenly Mother, the original ancestors of humanity.

  28. One plus one plus one equals three. Maybe. But there is another way of doing the math that should not be overlooked.

    One is one – unitary, all-encompassing and indivisible.

    There is no two, because as soon as you have division you have three: A, B and the relationship between them.

    In terms of human relationship, love is the third force. It is the force that makes two into one. That’s why the most perfect visible expression of the Divine is to be found in a mature man and a mature woman completely united in love. The beauty of the Principle is that we are called to approach the Divine not as individuals, as in other faith traditions, but as a single entity, comprising an inseparable couple.

    Personally, I still like the bit that goes, “I AM the Lord thy God… thou shalt have no other Gods before me” and find nothing in the Divine Principle to contradict this.

  29. Very interesting. I never quite “got” the reason for the change from “Heavenly Father” to “Heavenly Parent” and just went along with it. I also couldn’t understand why some people (mostly women) would get huffy and correct me if I said “Father.” I would think, “Look, I’ve been calling God ‘Father’ for 30 years, and it’s difficult to change someone’s name all at once.”

    I’ve also thought along the lines of Dr. Hendricks and worried that if we refer to God as Father and Mother, it might give homosexuals, bisexuals and their advocates an excuse for that lifestyle. But Ye Jin Nim explains it very nicely. God as the Origin must have male and female elements and the interaction of those elements leads to Creation. Even “Mother Earth” first came from God, so I can certainly accept that God is both Mother and Father, the Parent. It is also very telling that Eve’s fall led to the subversion of this truth. The Mother could not be acknowledged until there was a True Mother on Earth.

    I think True Father would agree with this. I remember a woman’s testimony (Japanese) of when she first met True Father. He was giving a speech in Japan and was calling God “Father,” and she (unmarried then) shouted from the crowd, “God is our Mother!” And True Father turned to where she was and said, “That’s right!” That’s when she decided to follow him and join the church.

  30. In the Malagasy language, we do not have plural as well. When saying “parents,” we say “ray aman-dreny”, “ray” means “father”, “aman-” means somehow “and, together” and “reny ” means “mother”. When addressing a man or woman , especially advanced in age, which is always considered as experienced and wise, we say “raiamandreny”, translated in English as “parent” in singular form, which means “father and at the same time mother”. Note that the three components of the compound word became one single word. People go and consult “raiamandreny” (be it in the family, at school, church or social and governmental sphere) when dealing with serious issues in the family, society and the nation. The person is one male (or female) physical person but he has the same value and credit as your parents, your father and/or your mother. A “raiamandreny” has the responsibility and heart to guide, lead and educate, with love. That person might even have a position above your own parents.

    Man has female characteristics dormant in him, and woman has male characteristics dormant in her. It must be so, seen that the Origin has the male and female characteristics together in Him, but equally balanced and in harmony.

    On the other side, the providence of restoration has gone through growth periods. Our knowledge of the Creator as well. After the Fall, from the fallen human perspective, there was no such being as “God”. Then they themselves created their gods. Then God made Himself known, saying “I am Jehovah”. “I am the Lord”. People were taught that there is “one” God. And that God is “Father”. Jesus was killed because he claimed that he was the son of that “Father”. Being the only begotten son, only he really caught and understood what it meant and what it carried as attributes.

    Likewise, all cultures gave a specific name to the Creator based on how they perceived the attributes that should be given to the Creator and the language. “God” of Christianity and “Allah” of Islam carry the same meaning and attributes. “Hananim” is not enough to fully describe who the Creator is. “The Void” neither. “Father” is of a more internal nature.

    Today we are in a new era, new age, new realm, new insight. The ones who are to reveal us the real identity of the Creator is none other than the True Parents (John 16:25). A new dimension of the Creator’s characteristic, the True God: a parent. The Creator has the heart of a father and at the same time the heart of a mother. Without concrete distinction between the two. If we pour clear water in a glass and we put in a dose of sugar, the sugar melts in the water. We add a dose of salt. The salt melts in the water. There is no visible distinction between the water, sugar and salt, unless the amount of one component is not proportional with the amount of the others. We see only water. But we know that it is water+sugar+salt = 1. If we use a reagent we will see distinctly the sugar and the salt without separating the three.

    And we have to have that kind of heart as well – of a father and a mother at the same time (just the heart, not the physical aspect). With that kind of True Love. It is all said in the motto True Mother proclaimed: “…in resemblance to our Creator, the Heavenly Parent”. Our Creator = our Parent in Heaven = One = the Origin of us all, including True Parents — the first resemblance of our Creator — who are our Earthly (and later Heavenly? — when True Mother will ascend) Parents.

  31. This thread just keeps on going! Looking at it today my main feeling is that while it’s great to discuss this topic and even argue about it, it’s not worth fighting about. What I mean is that it should not become the basis of a schism, such as the early Christian church’s argument about whether Jesus’ nature/essence was “the same as” or “similar to” God’s. Or, since we are talking about the Divine Feminine, perhaps a better analogy is the split between the Catholic and Orthodox churches over the famous “Filioque” clause — does the Holy Spirit proceed from the Father and the Son, or directly from the Father? Alas, it may be too late to avoid the initial stages of schism already, but it’s not too late to remember Jesus’ final advice to his disciples in the Gospel of John — they will know you are my disciple if you love one another.

  32. So, just wondering, who is the “Ecclesiastical Endorser,” say, of today?

    It appears that this response by Ms. Moon found its particular impetus in the very odd statement of Dr. Hendricks in his earlier piece where he did, in fact, state:

    “Just as the Messiah raises up his bride, Adam was to have raised up Eve, and Heavenly Father’s creative, initiating love brought forth His Object Partner from **nothing** into full personhood, Heavenly Mother, equal in divinity, power, authority and uniqueness.”

    From nothing?!

    Oh, my . . . and so on.

    P.S. I love Dan Fefferman (and most everybody most of the time)!

  33. For myself, prior to this era, I have always referred to God as Hananim, the one God. That to me has always signified a unified Heavenly Parents in whom his original masculinity and original femininity were of one heart, one mind. How that Heavenly Parent decided to express his nature to me, sometimes masculine, sometimes incredibly feminine as compassionate heart, is entirely up to my Heavenly Parent depending on my need at the time!

    To me it was always very simple. Neither True Father nor True Mother ever seeks to make themselves an object of idolatry, but always seek to guide us closer to our one vertical Heavenly Parent. HP, according to the Exposition of the Divine Principle, existed in this unified form prior to the creation of the cosmos. Hear and give ear, O Israel, the Lord is one! How God has manifested in history says more about our shortcomings than it does about our Heavenly Parent (in typing that sentence, I have just realized how biased English is towards the masculine; kept trying to put “he” in there).

  34. Coming from a Christian background, it was the experience of a lifetime to meet the LSA. Among the new revelations he introduced were the need to have a partner to resemble God.

    My wife is Japanese and we are all culturally calibrated in a more or less patriarchal culture. However, there were statements that Father made which had a lasting impression in my mind and heart, such as “I was born for Mother.” Our Korean lecturer declared it as a revolutionary statement.

    That male and female exist in harmonious co-existence and none produced the other is clear from a UT viewpoint. However, the idea of oneness of these characteristics, as Ye Jin Moon points out, hints towards a depth of understanding that brings us to the border of our three-dimensional thinking, even though UT explains it this way. It is easier to “understand” and perhaps possibly only perceivable from a heartistic viewpoint, e.g., to experience our Parents as an undivided existence. That is why divorce is most painfully experienced by children who desperately try to unite what in their heart is one unified unit.

    By using Dr. Hendricks’ arguments as a punching ball, important reasons for God’s undivided and developed existence become very clear, thanks to both of you.

    The explanation of the subsequent emergence of restored Eve due to the “double” sin is not new and makes sense to me. However in the past it was (mis)used by men to claim service from the ladies many times, from my personal experience.

    I agree that we are just at the beginning to understand the meaning and purpose of the divine female content and mission in this final stage of history.

    Crystal clear is, from my point of view, that the key to the way out of the problems of these days lays with women leaders. True Mother is spearheading this and we should not expect that she just repeats or maintains what has been done so far, but gives the final touch after having moved into our new home, CIG.

  35. Many points I agree on, but let us not focus on just “women leaders.” Men, by their nature, were meant to lead, and that many men failed before doesn`t mean that Divine Principle is false, and that they shouldn’t continue to try and make efforts. Women also fail sometimes in what they (were meant to) do.

    It is true that in many peace efforts, female leadership and initiative is deeply appreciated, often called for and sometimes indispensable; in many other aspects, men are meant to lead as that is their nature as the male subjective aspect of God’s nature. It was one of the aspects of Divine Principle that inspired me too. I think we ought to be clear on that.

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