Note: This post originally appeared on our blog on August 19, 2013. The author has written a Post-UK Symposium on the CIG Constitution Update after the article’s conclusion.
The passing last September of Rev. Sun Myung Moon marked the end of an era for the Unification Movement, not unlike the passing of Moses or Jesus. The followers left behind have to fashion a society that embodies the teaching and spirit of the founder. Under the charismatic leadership of Rev. Moon, governance was on the level of a community or tribal society. Now, a new center of new legitimate authority must be established for this community. In addition, the vision for Cheon Il Guk (CIG) also aspires to national and global aspects that transcend the community-level society members have known. The membership now has to define and routinize the authority of the movement after the founder’s passing.
The role of a constitution is to establish the purpose, nature of authority, and distribution of power in a society. Regardless of how the CIG Constitution is developed, it will be an important document related to the rise or decline of the Unification society, because people will voluntarily join or leave it. To expand and solidify a society that embodies the founder’s values, the benefits of membership, on the whole, should outweigh the costs; otherwise people will not join or remain members.
Levels of Governance
Societies contain several levels of social organization, with the main levels being: family, community, state, and world. A community consists of several families, a state of several communities, and a world of several states.
Each of these levels has different characteristics: the family is intimate and personal, the community is interpersonal, and the state and world are transpersonal and impersonal. Different types of authority and different forms of rules and administrations are appropriate for each level.
At the family level, direct responsibility is taken by the parents for their dependent children, whose initial several years of learning is based on mimicking behavior and habit formation. Young children do not choose their parents or understand the logic of laws, and a good community establishes norms for parenting and supports parents in their task of raising children.
Family and community levels of society embody concepts of “justice” that aim at what is best for a particular person, given their particular circumstances. Families normally belong to communities that promote a desirable set of collective values. Some communities formally organize and establish rules that provide structure to their values.
States are large, impersonal, and treat people with “equal justice” based on concepts of reason and human rights. They do not provide personal care, but rationally administer the law and, if they are not corrupt, treat all citizens equally rather than according to personal needs. World society governs the relationship between states and does not efficiently deal directly with individuals or communities; its members are states and nations, not individuals.
A serious problem exists because of the confusion of levels of governance, and the assignment of social responsibilities to inappropriate levels of government. This occurs, for example, when irresponsible people defer their responsibilities to the state, or when power-hungry rulers seek to use the people to further their own personal goals. These two “fallen natures” tend to reinforce one another, causing the saying “a people get the government they deserve.”
The Fundamental Characteristics of a Good State Constitution
We normally think of a Constitution as the foundation for a state-level society. And, there is much confusion between the concepts of “nation” and “state.” A nation is a cultural unit, composed of many communities that share general values. A state is a territorial unit that provides security and infrastructure to a defined area of land. It is unwise to ask a state to impose the particular values of a community, or a nation, upon all the people in its territory. This is the reason for the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which guarantees freedom of assembly, religion, speech, and the press. The attempt to impose the cultural values of a particular group, rather than universal human values, at the state level, leads to ethnocentrism, racism, sexism, classism, or even “partyism” and other forms of discrimination.
A good state constitution will:
- Create a mechanism for individuals, communities, and nations to freely pursue their ends so long as that pursuit does not interfere with the rights of others to do the same. In accomplishing this goal, it needs to set forth the rights of people and groups, and mechanisms for the prevention and prosecution of those who violate these rights.
- Create a mechanism for the protection of the state as a whole, based on a form of taxation that least oppresses the freedoms to pursue human goals in point number 1.
- Create a mechanism that inhibits the takeover of the mechanisms of government to serve the interest of individuals or groups, at the expense of the whole, creating a ruling class with advantages and legal rights common citizens do not have.
It is important to note that conflating the roles of nation and state is a fundamental flaw in modern societies and social consciousness that leads to great social dysfunction, genocide, and oppression. It is easy recognizing the evil of such conflation when one looks at the Rwandan genocide of 1994 and the horrific effects that resulted when one national group, the radical Hutus, controlled the state, and promoted genocide against the Tutsis and moderate Hutus. However, it is less easy to see the evil in a so-called “democratic” state, like the United States, when certain political parties use their factional power of government to organize protections or financial distributions to certain special interest groups.
Legitimate functionality in a modern state is most possible when all people are treated as equals before the law. This means that “nations,” like the CIG, should not be in control of states, but should be accorded the freedom to live and associate according to their particular values, so long as they do not oppress other nations, particularly by co-opting the power of the state.
The Proposed Draft CIG “Constitution”
Last month [July 2013], I was invited to participate in a conference at Cheongshim Graduate School of Theology in Korea to discuss a draft Constitution of CIG. This document was rooted in theological statements and articulated basic structures of church authority, centered on the authority of “True Parents” and a Supreme Council.
A video report by Dr. Michael Balcomb, President, FFWPU-USA, who attended the “International Symposium on the Cheon Il Guk Constitution,” held July 23-24, 2013 at the Cheongshim Graduate School of Theology in Korea.
Despite problems related to definitions and succession, the purpose of the document was appropriate to the role of “nation” as defined above regarding the separation of “nations” from “states.” A nation, like CIG, can be global and transcend the territorial span of a state, but it should not exercise power over territorial resources like water that all people equally need to live. The draft CIG Constitution set forth values related to God, morality, and family life and proposed an organizational structure to support these goals. This “Constitution” was organized more like the articles of a non-profit corporation with bylaws more like those of a church, and was designed to function within “states,” rather than as an instrument of state power. It is organized in a way that need not threaten the authority of any state with a good constitution that separates culture and state in the way the U.S. founders originally designed the U.S. to function.
A Proposal for a Future CIG Constitution
The proposed draft CIG Constitution I read was developed by individuals close to True Mother, who are concerned to see the continuation of her authority in her remaining years on earth. However, I did not see an adequate relationship between this document and the concepts of an ideal society and fallen human nature outlined in the Divine Principle, the foundational teaching of the movement:
Chapter 1 is on the Ideal. I recommend a CIG Constitution that best supports the creation of such an ideal society, with an explanation of how it does so. Key points of Divine Principle, particularly in the “Principle of Creation,” would be analogous to the “self-evident truths” in the U.S. Declaration of Independence that serve as the values behind the U.S. Constitution. This way, people learning the Divine Principle in workshops would be able to connect the ideals they are learning with the rules of the society they are being asked to join. First generation members experienced a disconnection between the ideal society as they were taught and the life they experienced in the movement’s “wilderness” phase.
Chapter 2 is on Fallen Nature. An understanding of the human fall and fallen nature can establish the basis for the checks and balances on power in the CIG Constitution. For example, efforts should be made to prevent “reversal of dominion,” in which an unqualified person would be in a position of power over the citizens of CIG.
The principle of restoration is a history of social expansion. It describes the process of expansion from individual to family, tribe, nation, state, and world. A world-level CIG Constitution should be based on an understanding of the types of administrations and laws appropriate for (1) different levels of governance, and (2) the three social spheres: political, economic and cultural. The CIG Constitution is the foundation of a cultural sphere in an ideal society. It should also have, at its core, an understanding of why the cultural sphere should not attempt to acquire political or economic power, and why these other two social spheres are based on different governing principles.
The creation of a CIG Constitution is an appropriate development related to the passing of Reverend Moon and as a framework for a cultural organization based on the teachings of True Parents. The Divine Principle can describe the values that the expanding Unification community believes to be universal, but these values should be promoted in ways that allow others to voluntarily grasp and accept them. The constitutions of good political states should protect the security of those seeking to pursue an ideal society like CIG, and allow members to promote their ideal and generate resources that would enable the actual pursuit of their vision of the ideal society, so long as this pursuit does not cause harm to others.
Space restricts me from describing detailed articles of a constitution related to checks and balances, methods of election, appointment, and succession. However, answers to all of these issues will be enhanced by ensuring that the articles of the CIG Constitution are compatible with the ideals of society taught in the Divine Principle.♦
Post-UK Symposium on the CIG Constitution Update
My article above was an attempt to provide some knowledge from historical lessons about political governance to the ideal of society set forth in the Divine Principle. In Chapter 1, there is an ideal for individuals and society that includes principles of growth, interrelationships, the purpose of life, and the relationship of the physical and spiritual worlds. If the idea of a CIG society is to create the ideal world described in DP, then the social system should be based on principles that support such a society.
These principles are largely known, but few want to implement them because of fallen nature. In my book Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness, Version 4.0, I try to give some indication of how we could move the next step beyond the U.S. system of democracy designed by the founders, which the Divine Principle states is an “Abel-type” democracy that distributes power to the people and prepares the way for the Second Advent. As we know from the principle, things grow and develop, so it seems this would be the starting point of the next stage of society. I have discussed more radical changes, like the way elections could be held, in the Journal of Unification Studies.
As I look at the CIG Constitution that was prepared in Korea it appeared more like the rules for the perpetuation of a wilderness course, which was organized top-down like a military organization, rather than rules for an actual society. I think this is one reason members have a hard time accepting it. This particular document was drafted by close followers of True Parents who never knew any life other than as generals in a military-like system. This type of organization worked fine to serve True Parents’ campaigns, and it might work for the management of property like the Cheongpyeong Peace Palace and Training Center, where some clear line of control is in order.
However, the type of governance needed for an actual society after crossing the Jordan River, where individual families are responsible for their own homes and financial affairs, and where they are responsible citizens making political and economic decisions in their communities, is very different. Government, in such a society, does not tell people what to do, but restrains them from doing evil to one another and serves the people’s pursuit of happiness by coordinating infrastructure projects.
A belief system and what people think and pursue comes from the people’s connection to God, not from their connection to government. In the ideal world, it is the voluntary inspiration and sacrifice provided to people by parents, churches, schools, and other areas of learning that provide meaning, purpose, and skills to people. Government does not do this; it begins in the family — the social institution where parents control the thought, economy, and rules of their household. And, when the children are adults, they leave the authoritarian rule of their parents. This hierarchical form applies to raising children, running a business, or a military campaign, but when people try to extend that system to government the result is a totalitarian dictatorship.◊
© Gordon L. Anderson. Dr. Anderson (UTS Class of 1978) is Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal on World Peace and President, Paragon House Publishers. He is author of many articles and books, including Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness, Version 4.0.
Thanks very much to Gordon for this important piece. As he mentions, there is much confusion between the concepts of “nation” and “state.” But an even more basic confusion exists between the concepts of church and nation or church and state. It seems to me that it is putting the cart before the horse to propose a national or state constitution until we have a church constitution (or federation charter, if you prefer). This also would help remove the temptation to impose appropriate church-level regulations (such as a theological creed or Family Pledge) on a nation or state where they would not be appropriate.
Dan, you are exactly correct. As an expert on Church-State issues, you know the importance of the appropriate level of separation of Church and State. A “nation” is not either a church or a state but is a cultural entity that cannot be encapsulated either within a territory like a state or a document like a Constitution. The draft CIG Constitution had a lot of parallels to the Catholic Church, the Supreme Council being like the College of Cardinals, and True Mother in a position like the Pope. I think what the Korea conference was might be more like what you call a federation charter. In this respect, it is attempting to be too broad and global to have the interpersonal aspects of a local church community. From this perspective, a large level of autonomy should be given to local churches or communities, who would be the members of this federation, rather than individual church members.
Thank you, Gordon, for your thoughtful analysis of the basic universal principles and values that a CIG Constitution, as a foundational charter, should consider and contain before it is even drafted. Other crucial points to contemplate should be about sovereignty (who holds the sovereignty), and a clear recognition of the intrinsic original value of each person and family as a base for the recognition of their inalienable rights.
In the draft CIG Constitution I was sent, it was clearly stated that God is Sovereign. The U.S. Founders also gave sovereignty to God. The real challenge is to provide a structure in which no human being displaces the sovereignty of God, but there is a system of authority that allows God to work in the world. When another entity is made sovereign, like the state, then God is shut out.
The challenge for Unificationists will be to create a system of authority that doesn’t make another entity sovereign, or displace God, causing idolatry or reversal of dominion. There will temptations to install representatives of God or God’s Word as sovereigns, whether they be the Cheon Seong Gyong, True Mother, an official channeler of Rev. Moon, a Supreme Council, or some other physical entity. These all need to be subordinated to God, with some level of authority at some level of governance.
I think if it comes to be the person, examples we have today would be the Vatican with the Pope, Tibet with the Dalai Lama, or something like Iranian theocracy with their Ayatollah. None is that great.
I believe, in the ideal world of CIG, God would be able to work through individual families, but today this sounds almost impossible… to have one unified rule of God with so many different levels of BCF’s. Lots of confusion and open space for dominion reversals.
So I think a system of individual authority will be necessary, more as some kind of transitional phase. At some point a transition toward God’s direct dominion will have to be established with God’s rule directly through blessed ancestors in spiritual world and BCF’s on the earth.
Gordon, your article and the comments that follow are missing the point. The critical factor missing from this church effort (and nearly all systems of government) is the sovereignty of the individual. America uniquely understands the individual is the sovereign entity of our constitutional system. So deep is this understanding that our Founders were comfortable with an armed population, because to disarm them was to remove their sovereignty a la Europe, and leave them exposed to government oppression. The extent to which American individual sovereignty over the State has been eroded in the last 75 years (by a lazy, selfish People) is the extent to which the State has assumed vast levels of control over Americans that would be appalling to earlier generations or the American Founders. In other words, because Americans do not know Principle or live righteous lives, America is slowly morphing into a nation where the State holds sovereignty over the Individual — a reversal of dominion.
The purpose of right government is to externally regulate a means by which multiple individuals can live together harmoniously, each pursuing their dream of the good life, such that one person’s dream does not quash another’s. Internally, religion strives for the same goal in the cultural sphere (Gordon’s “nation”). Neither culture, state, nation, religion, church, or God is an “entity” in this respect. The only entity is the individual human being, because that person is an Individual Truth Body. It is through each individual that God works, not through families, groups, nations, constitutions, kings, or priests. It is the primary functional God-Man relationship. All else grows from this… family, clan, tribe, culture, nation, world, religion. When the individual relationship is corrupted, so goes the rest. Most government seeks to reverse dominion and impose a top-down relationship… hence, the idea that we need a God representative at the state level, we need Mother to be “in charge,” we need a church or Cheon Il Guk constitution that makes God sovereign. But when God is sovereign, somebody needs to interpret what that means. Hence, a God representative must go to the top of the heap. That spells theocracy… a reversal of dominion. It’s all a false god. The individual is sovereign, and the individual interprets what God’s sovereignty means (freedom of religion, of conscience). At the level of national polity, the nature of societal behavior flows from the relationship between its citizens and God’s values.
We need look no further than the U.S. Constitution, because it embodies the philosophy and framework necessary to ensure the individual is sovereign, has set up a keep-it-simple-stupid mechanism by which the will of the People can be understood and carried out, and protections to ensure the effects of fallen nature are limited or defused… so long as the individual remains sovereign. I predict any constitutional meddling in our movement will have deleterious effects, further alienate more members, and deepen the existing schism. The individual, in the Principle, is sovereign. God exercises His sovereignty through the individual. All focus must go to protecting individual sovereignty and guiding, through the love of Abel, each individual into a conscious understanding of Principle and a loving relationship with God, so that each one of us can unselfishly love our neighbors, respect their inalienable rights, and build a happy society in which God feels loved and at home. This is the purpose of our movement. Cheon Il Guk is not something that’s founded, like a humanistic nation. It grows organically from sovereign individuals’ expression of love and Principle, just as American constitutionalism sprouted from Americans’ love of liberty, rooted in respect for God’s values. This constitutional movement in the church reminds me of the Hebrews’ demand to Samuel for a king (or, a “supreme council”) to rule over them because they wanted to be just like all the other nations around them. God was not amused. So, be forewarned.
Chris, I think you miss the concept of levels of governance and appropriate rights and governance for each level. While the individual is the only entity created by God, and human beings make derivative entities we call families, societies, etc., they are still entities, like machines and other human creations, like a watch, that are fabricated based on purposes and principles that can make life happier.
To make the individual sovereign is to make the individual God. This would be idolatry. The Founders made God sovereign, but gave the individual citizens the power to ultimately control the federal government, making the federal government subservient to the people rather than the other way around. However, the ultimate power in their philosophy is derived for “nature and nature’s God,” and individuals do not have the right or ability to defy God or God’s principles without consequences.
Also, the Federal government was originally set up as a union of states, not a union of individuals. As such it had no power to directly tax individuals, but had to receive apportioned payments from states. In this respect, God was most sovereign, then individuals, then states, then the federal government, but each level had specific responsibilities that were more appropriate. The guiding principle here was subsidiarity. So, from the standpoint of subsidiarity, the individuals should be armed, and state militias should be the basis of federal protection, and federal agencies like the TSA outlawed. That was the way the Constitution was established.
Eventually, as I document in my book, both individuals and smaller governments deferred responsibility to higher and less appropriate levels, leading to waste, impersonal care, and ultimately bankruptcy. Citizens today put false faith in the Federal government that individuals originally created, and more unscrupulous individuals later hijacked. It is like ancestors inventing a wristwatch and then descendants making it God. But individual citizens still need to understand they are not God, that they did not create themselves or the universe, and in that respect, must see God as sovereign.
I agree with you that we must be very careful not to let some higher level of church organization have any absolute authority of interpretation and force it onto individuals, but recognize that they are only servants who also serve God. This is why it is very important to put names of people who translate or compile church documents on the documents and not claim their version is God’s and therefore absolute.
Gordon, I didn’t miss your concept of governance levels. I simply didn’t respond to that point in your article. I responded to the complete lack of attention paid to the individual in this proposed constitutional concept going on in the church right now.
When I say the individual is sovereign, I am referring explicitly to the individual vis-a-vis society, which includes government. As the creator, God is the universal sovereign. The Fall was all about Lucifer usurping that sovereignty, and subjugating human beings to himself. God does not subjugate us to anything. With God, all is and must be voluntary and rooted in love, else it’s unacceptable. But in fact what is really sovereign, universally speaking, is not God, but Principle, and beyond Principle, even, is Love. God voluntarily subjugates his own self to Principle, to his values, to true love. Humans…like Father…with a deep heart of sacrificial love toward God, nonetheless also subjugate themselves not to God himself, but to God’s principles. When we cite a “higher law” to justify violating a human law, it is God’s principles we are referencing, not God. And that, of course, is a uniquely individual experience, one not interpretable for us by a higher power (government, supreme council, True Parents, or even God).
The reason I harp on the sovereignty of the individual is because without it, anything can be justified for the good of the whole, against the will of the individual. We know God never works like that. Nor did Father. The American polity, uniquely in the world, protects the minority against the majority. In its ultimate form, it protects the individual against the might of the whole. Our church has never protected nor honored the individual over the whole, except for True Parents. The result of this mindset has been the wholesale abuse of individuals and corruption in church governance. Any constitution that continues this mindset will be corrupt from the start and harmful overall. It doesn’t matter what rules, laws or standards are set up in writing. The body politic will, of necessity, operate according to its core value. It doesn’t matter if God is given top billing or not. But the fact is our church is not a structure, organization, or polity. It is a movement of sovereign individuals responding to True Parents’ effort to illuminate God’s core values. We organize institutions to help work together to achieve our goal, but we do not surrender our individual sovereignty to them. Cheon Il Guk cannot be defined by a structure of any sort, constitutional or otherwise…only by unselfish love. It then grows organically in the seedbed of transformed individuals, like a heavenly weed, throughout all the nooks and crannies of every human institution such that they are transformed. There is no Cheon Il Guk to “join,” or manage, or organise. One grows into it and it grows out of us. A constitution for it is a fallen effort to drag the sky into the mud.
Chris, I grasp your general concern about some intermediary between God (or principle) and individuals claiming sovereignty. I think you might allow that, in the family, there is some room for sovereignty of parents over children because they are in a position of dependence, but it is wrong to extend that type of sovereignty to higher levels of governance, effectively letting some social authority treat individuals as children.
There is a risk, if you focus only on individual sovereignty to the exclusion of levels of society, that you will end up with anarchy.
Gordon, great and important article. Chris and Gordon, great content and dialogue in your comments. We have superb video content on the CIG Constitution that came out of a recent symposium of our English scholars. I think you and other readers may find it very valuable:
Both of your comments are some of the most enlightened that I have seen on this very important topic.
Chris, I agree with many points you give to the “inalienable God-given rights to the individual.” This is fundamental. And it is critical that no person or Supreme Council should claim to represent the full authority of God and then force that opinion on individuals. God dwells in the heart and mind of the individual. The problem is that we need to deal with the reality that man has freedom and does not always choose to honor God and others’ inalienable rights. So I believe some order is necessary and order is part of beauty. We can see it marvelously in nature.
So I agree with Gordon on the basic reality that there are levels of society and proper order and structure is needed. If it is only the individual then this can create anarchy. How often did True Father speak about the problem of individualism vs. living for the sake of others? I find it hard to find a speech where this was not stated or at least inferred. Also, True Father was absolutely clear about the sanctity of the family as the school of love.
The other fundamental point that TF constantly spoke on was the absolute relationship of husband and wife becoming one entity to fully reflect God. This is how the family can be created where True Love (4 realms of heart) can be manifested. The True Love family is how God was to become manifested in us and dwell on earth. This husband-wife relationship and family is where Lucifer took over and it multiplied and has blocked God from His dwelling place. This is how this Satanic world was created and expanded to cover the globe. The constitution has to address this problem.
TF often said his greatest achievement and responsibility was to give the Blessing so that God could dwell on earth through each blessed couple and from which True Love could be manifested and multiplied to cover the earth. He constantly spoke and educated us on the individual living for the family, the family for the tribe, the tribe for the nation, the nation for the world, the world for the cosmos, and the cosmos for God.
We need order. We need to have no idols, only God. We need to create a constitution (if possible) to support God being in the center.
Now Chris, you are speaking truth to power and that is good.
The CIG Constitution that we are starting with, from what I could ascertain, was a focus on power and making TM sovereign until she would be replaced by the Supreme Council. The “openness to input from others” expressed by several leaders on the video accompanying Gordon’s article sounded hopeful, but I am not optimistic that such will be the case.
My article above was an attempt to provide some knowledge from historical lessons about political governance to the ideal of society set forth in the Divine Principle. In Chapter 1 there is an ideal for individuals and society that includes principles of growth, interrelationships, the purpose of life, etc. If the goal of a CIG society is to look like the ideal world described in DP, then the social system should be based on principles that support it.
These principles are largely known, but few want to implement them because of fallen nature. I tried to give some indication of how we could move the next step beyond the U.S. system of democracy designed by the founders, which the Divine Principle states is an “Abel-type” democracy that distributes power to the people.
As I look at the Constitution that was prepared in Korea it looks more like the rules for the perpetuation of a wilderness course, which was organized top-down like a military organization. This is what causes a reaction among members asked to support it. I think part of the reason is that this particular document was drafted by close followers of True Parents that never knew any other life than as generals in a military-like system. However, the type of governance you need for an actual society after crossing the Jordan River and settlement is very different. Government, in such a society, does not tell people what to do, but restrains them from doing evil to one another and serves the people’s pursuit of happiness by coordinating infrastructure projects.
A belief system and what people think and pursue comes from the people’s connection to God, not from their connection to government. It is voluntary inspiration provided to people by parents, churches, schools, and other areas of learning that provide meaning, purpose, and skills to people. Government does not do this; only within the family — the social institution where parents control the thought, the economy, and the rules of their household. This only applies to raising children, and when people try to extend that system to government the result is a totalitarian dictatorship.
I appreciate Gordon’s thoughtful, updated post. There are certainly issues here which underpin the whole venture and raise substantial questions and this is a good start. We already see many personal interpretations of Principle, leaving one to wonder who governs who and upon whose authority. Misinterpretations and deletions are both common and made public. From other posts, the cultural problems tied to nationality are blatantly obvious. Many British think the Principle is a democratic institution akin to their parliamentary system. Quite a few believe Principle to be Darwin’s theory of evolution. The Americans believe their constitution defines all. The Koreans have a model based on familial piety, and so on and so on. CIG, flawed or not, is therefore what it is for the moment and variously interpreted through filters, notwithstanding personal and psychological issues which don’t just disappear overnight. Some of these problems are multigenerational. Others are exacerbated by a poor understanding of the Fall. However, nowhere in the Principle or in speeches do I see democracy as being posited as the ideal.
Having said that, I was also under the impression that the period of “church” was a temporary expediency to restore Christian failures and it was ended in 1997 by Father. The term church is not what the Garden of Eden might have been. Church is a restorative model and it is a model which necessarily requires a constitution – a definition of belief and practice. For the most part, history shows us that church constitutions are not effective. Despite the UC being re-organized as federations, which initially seemed to support familial and individual providences, freedom and growth, the term church looms large again, holding to questions regarding constitutions and the threat perhaps of rigid structures, control and at worst, authoritarianism. Is this a fear factor lying in antithesis to love life and creativity?
Do I think structure or hierarchy is necessary? During the period of the German Idealists, Kant put forward his “moral imperative.” It is one’s duty to participate ethically according to a priori and given sets of ideas. He was immediately challenged by Goethe and Schiller with their morphological or biological systems theory, which suggested systems were autonomous and sufficient in of themselves to manage, through feedback loops, the health of the whole in a systemic fashion. What was not fully reconciled here was the Kantian idea that designs and moral imperatives were emergent from a deeper order. Certain principles are evident and certain autonomous systems are not entirely autonomous but function well under this overarching invisible umbrella of universal ideals. Both were correct: principles and orders of nature, transcendence and immanence. Schiller’s aesthetic letters gave rise to an educational system which stated the child is lured by love and beauty first, then, at an appropriate time, introduced to principles – food for thought.
Examinations of biological principles gave way to social and political speculation last century. Biology was adapted to sociology. We have models from Lehmann, Varela and others, which put forward the term “autopoietic,” as emergent structures or states underlying molecular systems and broader ecosystems. Indeed conflict at lower levels in these models would be resolved, as one rose in consciousness towards the apex.
What these natural systems reveal is the fact that all are emergent properties of the “One.” Yet all emergent complexities in such a system, function with autonomy and paradoxically participate with field properties to which they ultimately belong. Self, family, community, society, and political domains are all autopoietic systems rooted in two participating dynamics. First, all are emergent from a larger system or whole rather like models of irreducible complexity. Second, systems largely autonomous, function along feedback loops which reveal concern for every face under the Sun, every particle in the cosmos, every growing thing and living thing, animal or human. Artists with heart will tell you this. Everything matters. Whitehead speculated that concern-consciousness lay at the heart of creation. Concern-consciousness extended to humanity and the social order in the West, and Confucius said the same in the East.
Much of these systems theories are well advanced and we find, if we are open, that we are “taught by nature” in this respect as might the Garden of Eden have taught its inhabitants better than our schools today. A constitution is simply nature in terms of a system. Dynamics and principles therefore might better inform CIG. Systems dynamics, such as CIG, might benefit from more profound thought about what surrounds us and what dwells within us and what we are dealing with. It seems to me that God incarnate is not just True Parents; they are the first but is it not also the goal of our personal journey? We are here to incarnate the transcendent function, are we not? We teach these things as immanent God – God of Day, or Logos personality and Logos creativity, which at bottom is nature by design, not church. Church might be necessary for the new acolyte but why can’t we be fully involved in community, creativity, and ecology?
I daresay a minimum constitution inheres to natural functions as natural law might. Yet there is a difference between principles and legalisms. Part of that difference lies in authenticity and integrity. Part of it lies in the lure of love, particularly in the early steps of the human journey towards belonging to nature. Part of it lies in the elevation of consciousness so that we might see properly and reveal the concern shown to every particle in the universe as Whitehead suggested. Part of it might lie in limited perception.
From my perspective, nature and principle teach us well, though fallen nature and the aftermath and persistence of the shadow are real and highly problematic. It is factors like these, relating to transcendent functions and realities of the human condition, which are factors to be more fully considered. From my perspective, law and order are external functions which differ from the term Principle; the interior world of being, belonging and connectedness are more central and if considered further might supply better answers.
I see and even understand a lot of the CIG-C interest. Yet I find myself seeing it as a false endeavor in the end. I will use your own statement from the first paragraph to bring my point to light. You state:
“Now, a new center of new legitimate authority must be established for this community. In addition, the vision for Cheon Il Guk (CIG) also aspires to national and global aspects that transcend the community-level society members have known. The membership now has to define and routinize the authority of the movement after the founder’s passing.”
I find this to be a false statement and since it is the foundation for your premise and “need” for this document, if it is false, then all else has no foundation to stand.
Taking the DP and Rev. Moon as the basis for things, it is clear from both that true and original source of legitimate authority is God the Creator. You state, “Now, a new center of new legitimate authority must be established.” I assert that there is no need as there already is one. Furthermore, Rev. Moon was extremely clear that the Ideal of God is a world without the governments and institutions we know and experience today. The center of God’s authority is our direct and personal relationship with the Creator. The expression of that relationship is our give and take with others and all things. This is the basis for God’s Ideal world. There is no substitute for that and anything put forward to take that place is a “false God.”
Second, you state, “The membership now has to define and routinize the authority of the movement after the founder’s passing.”
Just what is this “movement” that many keep speaking of? I have yet to see clear and concise understanding of it presented anywhere. Even more fundamental is the question what are you here to serve: God or a “movement”? There is the situation in the Old Testament of when after Joshua had succeeded in subjugating Canaan, a volatile situation arose where the Israelites desired to form a kingship and make Joshua king. He refused and paraphrasing said, “For me and my house, we will only serve the Lord God”.
Finally, is the history of God’s chosen people.
Once the Israelites were in Canaan they constantly clamored and pleaded for a king. Yet God refused initially and strongly, Joshua being a classic example. There is a clear reason God refused this. Simply it was not God’s ideal for mankind and the ideal world. God did not desire for his chosen people to take on the ways of fallen history and the world.
I see all this effort as spending our energy and time pursuing what has already be attempted in history. I firmly believe if you go down a path that has been tried before you will end up with the same result. I hope we can all agree the history of the world to this point has not been the history God hoped and desired. We should not repeat it.
Robert, a lot of what you are saying is similar to what I was saying. I think the main point you missed is that I was not advocating a CIG Constitution as the new source of legitimate authority. Not only do I think this document has problems, I do not think it is even appropriate to promote it as a source of authority.
I was saying that after True Father’s passing, the people who were following his earthly instructions have to find a new source of authority. Members have been wrestling with this. In three ceremonies, TF appointed his youngest son as his heir. Yet True Mother also has authority. Further, some give the Divine Principle higher authority. The people promoting the Constitution promote another source of authority. While True Father was on earth, you were either viewing him as the locus of authority for yourself, or viewing him in comparison to some other authority in your own life. If you were viewing him as the source of authority, as many members were, then his passing would cause a shift in authority for you as well.
Legitimate authority is something that is voluntarily accepted, not something imposed. As Derek said in his comment above, this authority has to be in some way consistent with genuine principles, and a good constitution will reflect such principles.
Having said that, I do not believe that you can have a society that is more complex than simple hunting or agrarian societies without a rule of law. And, even then, what rules do you have in the case one person steals from or kills another. Even if the world is perfected, babies who are not perfected will be born who need guidance.
True Father often referred to growing up in a community that did not need the law. In an ideal society, good people would not violate the law, if the laws are principled, so it would feel like you didn’t need it. However, that idyllic, agrarian community he grew up in in northern Korea is now under the oppressive rule of Kim Jong Un. When we speak about a constitution, we are speaking about a set of rules that would allow for God to rule and prevent a tyrant like Kim from rising. So, yes, perhaps if everyone was perfect we could live without the law, but until then, a rule of law is necessary to guide us to perfection.
However, I never said that because members are looking for a new source of authority that a CIG Constitution is the answer. This is something you incorrectly derived as you read my article.
Gordon, your beginning paragraph frames the article. Your response to me also frames the same point that we “need” a new source of “legitimate” authority. This is a misunderstanding of the real situation that involves God, mankind, and Satan. The CIG-C is merely a reflection of this misunderstanding. It is not the CIG-C I’m concerned about, as it’s only a result of the false cause. Rather it’s the flawed expression of our relationship to God and each other I am addressing.
There has always been only one true source since creation of legitimate authority and that is solely God the creator. This is the essence of the battle throughout history over the soul and heart of mankind.
My view and relationship with Father while he was physically on earth has not changed with his passing to the spiritual world. Father was not the arbitrator (authority) of my relationship with God, but rather prior to the time of my blessing, the mediator between me and God due to the original sin of Adam and Eve. After the Blessing, he was my substantial Father and I was his son of the lineage of God. As such, I was reborn as God’s true son. My relationship did not and has not changed with his physical passing, but is eternal.
Your premise that we need to hold onto the ways of the fallen world due to people’s imperfection is at the heart of the fallen archangel’s justification of his corruption of Eve and making himself the ruler of this world.
Robert, you have explained the source of legitimate authority for yourself. Under that form of authority, True Father’s appointment of his youngest son as an heir would seem to have no relevance to you, just as the idea of a CIG Constitution does not. However, there is restorational authority required in a fallen world society to overcome the problems of the fall in social institutions. You seem to reject the idea that there needs to be any further restoration on earth beyond individuals; that your connection to True Father in the spiritual world is adequate, and that if every other human being on earth had the type of relationship that you do, an ideal world would follow automatically. And, that in that ideal world there would be no political, economic, or cultural institutions. For example, would there be money in an ideal world with no fallen people?
I believe that even in a perfected world, people will create social institutions. However, they will be along principled lines. I do not think we need to hold onto the ways of the fallen world, and I do not want to. That is something you improperly imputed to my position. What I was trying to explain is the need for a way to overcome the fallen ways in society in order to restore society. I do not see your comments as contributing to that discussion; your view only seems to cover the individual level and your personal connection to God.
There is a mystical faith some members have held that, “if we are blessed by True Parents and maintain our personal connection to God, our children will automatically be perfect.” Most members have learned this is empirically not the case and that we still must work very hard on earth to eliminate the effects of the fall in our own families, and that many things we tried need to be improved upon. Then, after we restore our families, we have to work on the same problems in society at large. The governance authority for such institutions is what we are discussing here, not the ultimate authority, God, that I think all members all agree upon as the ultimate authority.
A key problem with the CIG-C is its failure to protect religious freedom. It does not include “religion” in its list of categories protected from discrimination (it mentions race, sex, economic status, etc., but not religion). It goes on to clarify that those who publicly disavow TP or reject the CIG-C will have “some or all” of their citizenship rights forfeited. The authors of this document fail to appreciate the serious consequences of imposing on a state a rule that is appropriate for a church. I wish the opinion that this is really something meant to govern the movement were right. But in truth, that is simply not the case. Perhaps the first task in fixing the CIG-C is to amend it to stipulate that this opinion isn’t just wishful thinking. In the meantime, please pray for those of us whose consciences won’t allow us to endorse the present document.
Dan, I agree with you that religious freedom is necessary. However, religious freedom is often viewed too narrowly as institutional religion. Nationality has also to be considered in the same category as religion because it refers to the collective identity of a group of people. This could be a tribe, an ethnic group, or other cultural unit. An expanded name for religious freedom could be “cultural freedom,” e.g., a state does not impose any cultural identity upon its citizens.
There is a problem in our world today. We are only 300 hundred years after the arrival of the nation-state in France. In a nation-state, political elites, as did Louis XIV, seek to impose their values on the state and call it a “nation-state.” But I think this entire concept of “nation-state, so defined, is unconstitutional, violates religious freedom, and is a form of reversal of dominion. The use of the word “nation” has become so widely interchanged with “state” and “country” today that people do not realize the perversion in such language use. It is the same type of perversion we find in the current attempt by people to redefine “family” and other terms in order to enforce an alternative set of values on everyone.
One problem I had with the “Open Letter” that many signed is that it did not adequately protect the concept of religious freedom when it referred to it being a constitution for a nation-state. I don’t want to see any constitution promoting a state religion, and both the CIG Constitution and the Open Letter confused the purpose of a nation (cultural self-identity) with a state (a territory that is secured for protection of human rights and the coordination of public infrastructure). Until we can get better understandings of the two separate purposes of nations and states, we will be unable to design appropriate governance structures.
True Father’s wish in the end was for us to become tribal messiahs. So a document drafted by people who haven’t even accomplished this cannot steer the ship that they covetously desire to pilot. The journey of Tribal Messiahship has its own revelations. By avoiding that path we do not even know what it is that we haven’t realized to date about the divine cohesion between families. It is that divine cohesion between families that is the raw stuff a constitution would come from. Without this sensibility, this raw divine experientially-based cohesion between families, some other impetus occupies the heart of this matter. Something else writes this constitution.
I’d be more compelled to respect a constitution drafted by either of the only two successful tribal messiahs that exist in the world. I’m sure their course would have rendered a much greater air of respect for individual families. Such people are likely very meek. I see this meekness in Father’s offering of a constitution. It is elegant and simple: 1) Don’t hurt others’ hearts; 2) don’t taint your lineage; and, 3) don’t misuse all things. Its simplicity resonates with respect for the common person based on the idea that they are: 1) the child of God/ruler of the cosmos; 2) members of families/microcosm of the cosmos; and, 3) the center of harmony of the cosmos.
This movement has been on the cusp of a new age for the last 21 years. Gone are the days of elitism represented by Abel figures. I listen to Father not because of his position, but I defer to him because he is my father. I don’t even have to agree with my father to do this. A dutiful son can disagree with his father and still submit himself to his father’s wishes. I could even offer deference to an elder brother (not some contrived central position) who both respects his own mind but is also chiefly motivated because he/she saw Father as the source of his/her life and hope. However, careerism, position-ism or glory-seeking is not a divine reason for compliance.
The old reasons for building a community are passing away. People who do not value their own families more than church, church drama and church hierarchy, etc., are not people who can help me as I face the horizon of my own burgeoning tribal messiahship.
The Supreme Council is an instrument of control. Why is it even necessary to have such a body when it is the individual’s standard of conscience and heart, and the realm of the family, that is the ultimate determinate for a direct dominion of God?
John, in my view, the Supreme Council is a component of a theocratic system designed in Korea. Please refer to Dr. Mickler’s excellent article that appeared today for a general definition of “theocracy” and “democracy.” However, your question seems to be asking why any governance is needed if God dwells in everyone’s heart. My general answer is that some rule of law is required until that day appears, to prevent the slaughter of people who are in direct dominion by those who are not. Syria is an example of lack of adequate rule of law. Many good and innocent people are being killed and prevented from achieving the “three blessings.” So the question, for most of us, is “What type of rule of law accomplishes this best?”