On January 7, 2013, weeks prior to Foundation Day, Mrs. Hak Ja Han Moon, who since her husband’s passing on September 3, 2012, has led the Unification movement in her capacity as True Mother, declared that henceforth Unificationists should refer to God not as Heavenly Father but as Heavenly Parent.
Many members regarded this as a controversial innovation. Some objected to what they saw as unwarranted tinkering with time-honored tradition while others welcomed it as a step away from a sexist view of God.
However, the term Heavenly Parent, along with its implication that God is the Heavenly Mother as well as the Heavenly Father, was already an established feature of Reverend Moon’s theology, especially in his earliest teaching, Wolli Wonbon (1951).
Although as a rule Rev. Moon referred to God as Heavenly Father, he occasionally gave voice to the term Heavenly Parent. In the Cheon Seong Gyeong (2008), a large anthology of selections from his sermons, the term occurs more than a dozen times. For example,
That is something of a revelation about the Korean people — living with the Heavenly Parents for thousands and tens of thousands of years. (152)
By attending the Heavenly Parent, the heavenly kingdom and the heavenly ancestors, a royal domain will emerge (912)
We have not known that we have such a Heavenly Parent. (1151)
Have you shown filial piety to me as you would to your Heavenly Parents? (2225)
The Cheon Seong Gyeong (2014) includes an excerpt of a 1977 speech in which Rev. Moon refers explicitly to the two genders of Heavenly Parent, Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother:
When you go to the spirit world, you will see that there is not only the Heavenly Father but also the Heavenly Mother. Can a living being come to exist without both a mother and father? … That is why the way to heaven comes through the mother as well as the father. (719)
The term occurs once in Exposition of the Divine Principle (151), even though elsewhere God is referred to as Heavenly Father. In fact, that text is equivocal about the gender(s) of God. On the one hand, it characterizes God as primarily a masculine being: “In relation to the universe, God is the subject partner having the qualities of internal nature and masculinity.” That statement would seem to imply that as created beings we should relate to God as our Heavenly Father. On the other hand, it states, “God, as the subject partner, has the dual characteristics of yang and yin in perfect harmony.” That statement can be adduced as supporting the notion that God is both genders of the Heavenly Parent.
God as the Vertical Parent
Conceiving of God as Parent is fundamental to Unification theology, in particular to its Trinitarian understanding of salvation. In its brief discussion of the Trinity, Exposition specifies that because God is a being of dual characteristics, God’s primary manifestations must be man and woman: Adam and Eve prior to the Fall, Jesus and the Holy Spirit, and True Parents. (EDP, 170-172) This correspondence is strengthened in many of Rev. Moon’s sermons, where he speaks of God as the “vertical True Parent” and he and his spouse as the “horizontal True Parents.”
The description of God as the “vertical Parent” in this context occurs more than 40 times in the Cheon Seong Gyeong:
God has the qualities of both masculinity and femininity … The invisible Parent is causal, the visible parents resultant. Thus, in the position of parents, God the invisible Parent and these visible parents are to become one based on love. The latter are the horizontal parents and the former the vertical Parent (1728)
God is our real parent. How close He is to us. God as the vertical parent and True Parents as the horizontal parents together realize ideal love. (206, 1805)
The Creator is the Parent of heart centered on true love, and Adam and Eve are the horizontal physical parents. If the Heavenly Parent and earthly Parents had united and become one, and then had sons and daughters, no one born on earth would need a religion. (CSG, 96)
In other words, creation is based on resemblance, and the core resemblance in creation is between God whose essence is duality and human beings who were created male and female. This is what it means to be created in God’s image (Gen. 1:27).
The Trinitarian union of God the vertical Parent and the human True Parents is also the basis for understanding Christology — the union of the divine and the human in True Parents. Since God has two genders, no individual of one gender can incarnate the full image of God. This means Jesus as the male Messiah is not the full incarnation of God, but can be only a partial incarnation. It takes True Parents as a couple to fully embody God in the flesh. In keeping with this, Rev. Moon understood that the core of Jesus’ unfinished mission was to take a wife and establish True Parents.
In many of his late speeches, Rev. Moon referred to True Parents as the “embodiment” (shilchae) of God, literally the “substantial being” of God. Yet it should be clear from the above that the basis of their embodiment is not a simplistic identity, as if Rev. and Mrs. Moon were made of some kind of divine substance, but rather oneness in heart and love, position and authority.
Jesus said, “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father” (John 14:9). If so, then what kind of God do we see in True Parents? If God’s embodiment is Father and Mother together as True Parents, then the nature of God the Parent must also be as both Father and Mother.
In this regard, the Korean language is helpful because it does not normally distinguish between singular and plural. Its word for parent, or parents, is the same: bu-mo (부모), composed of the words father (bu, 부) and mother (mo, 모). In English we typically distinguish singular and plural in translation; thus when bumo refers to God, we translate in the singular: jongjeogin bumo (종적인 부모) is “vertical Parent.” When bumo refers to earthly parents, we translate in the plural; thus, cham bumo (참부모) is “True Parents.” Both “parent” and “parents” fit within the ambiguity of the Korean language. The decision of singular and plural is an artifact of English
Heavenly Parent in Wolli Wonbon
Reverend Moon’s first manuscript of the Divine Principle is titled Wolli Wonbon (원리원본) or The Original Text of the Divine Principle. He began writing Wolli Wonbon at the end of April 1951 and completed the text on May 10, 1952.
Despite the historical importance of this work, to date it has not been published, either in Korean or in English. Difficulties in understanding its condensed and complex thought, as well as deciphering the script which in some places is faded and in other places covered with corrections, has made the publication of Wolli Wonbon a forbidding task.
The Unification Theological Seminary library was able to obtain a photocopy of the original manuscript, written in Rev. Moon’s own handwriting and consisting of some 695 pages. We also obtained a photocopy of the handwritten copy made by Won Pil Kim. Efforts to transcribe and translate these manuscripts began in 2003 and are ongoing.
It is evident that Wolli Wonbon is not merely an early draft of Exposition of the Divine Principle but a far greater work. Much of it is concerned with the Principle of Creation, or as it phrases it, “the Principle of the Ideal.”
Wolli Wonbon spends nearly 20 pages discussing universal prime energy, in contrast to Exposition which devotes only one paragraph to its description and less than a page to explaining its action. Another topic elucidated in great detail is the Principle of the Object Partner, which Exposition condenses into one short paragraph about the Three Object Purpose. Then there are scientific topics, including evolution, gravitation, electricity, and magnetism. Also, and a propos our topic, there is considerable emphasis on the genders within God and God’s position as Heavenly Parent — Heavenly Mother as well as Heavenly Father.
The God of Two Genders
Wolli Wonbon, in its treatment of God, discusses the dual characteristics of masculinity and femininity, which it calls the two “genders” of God. There is no mention of God as having the dual characteristics of Internal Character (sungsang) and External Form (hyungsang). That God is a being of dual genders is a major theme from the very outset.
Human beings were created in separate genders, divided from God’s dual genders, so that they can unite in perfect love and dwell in joy:
When God created human beings, He expressed Himself by dividing His genders — male and female, or yang and yin. God created them this way to have them dwell in perfection through their give-and-receive action with each other. (26)
When a man and a woman give and receive such love in oneness of heart and body, then in heaven the genders of God’s love — masculine and feminine — completely manifest the form of God’s Principle of Creation. That is when God can finally bestow His infinite love upon human beings as He has purposed. (31-32)
A page from Wolli Wonbon, handwritten by Rev. Moon in 1951.
God as Heavenly Parent—Heavenly Father and Mother
In Wolli Wonbon, the God of dual genders relates to human beings as Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother. People’s ignorance about the Mother aspect of God has prevented humankind from manifesting God’s ideal. Accordingly, coming to know God as both Father and Mother is an important starting point moving forward towards the world that God originally purposed for humankind:
Our original Father is the Eternal Father. He is looking for us because He loves us. When we come to know this Being and attend Him as our Father, and likewise when we know this Being and attend Her as our Mother, that is the time when the ideal of recreation will commence on earth. We must know when this time is. We must have the experience of finding our Father and Mother once and for all. (55-56)
Wolli Wonbon laments that humankind’s insensibility to God as both our Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother has been a source of tremendous pain and bitterness to God. It stakes out Rev. Moon’s mission and responsibility to resolve this problem:
We human beings must know why throughout human history we have related to God only as our Father and not as our Mother. We have not even thought about why God had to become the Father, but not the Mother. Further, we have not even considered that the fundamental meaning of God is as our Parent — our Father and Mother. How can we even fathom the pain and bitterness of God the Father, who has had to face such children? Human beings have endured all manner of suffering throughout history, yet still they do not grasp this fundamental issue, which is at the root of their difficulties. What a tragedy!
God must be inaugurated as the Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother. Only then can we begin the ideal family as God’s children… The one who will have to realize this ideal on earth is the Lord of the Second Advent. (278)
This last statement speaks directly to the Enthronement Ceremony for the Kingship of God, which True Parents held on January 13, 2001. At that ceremony, two white thrones were employed, representing Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother. Fifty years earlier in Wolli Wonbon, Rev. Moon already envisioned such a ceremony, bringing God into His/Her complete manifestation on earth as Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother.
Wolli Wonbon is explicit in stating that the Christian concept of God only as Heavenly Father is incomplete. Yet even though God would wish that humankind knew Him/Her as Heavenly Mother as well as Heavenly Father, that concept could not really emerge into human consciousness until the establishment of True Mother on earth. The following passage speaks to this effort:
God’s earnest desire is to realize this purpose, the completion of the Origin. Therefore, to this day He is seeking for the Mother. There must be a Mother from Heaven as well as a Father from Heaven, because there are earthly fathers and mothers. Only when the Mother from Heaven is established can God become the Original Being and can the earth become the second being, His object partner. This is in accord with what God revealed in the Bible, that the earth is a shadow of heaven (Heb. 8:5). Yet it is here on earth that the entire Principle must be fulfilled. (633)
The record of Rev. Moon’s usage of the term Heavenly Parent to refer to God is well attested in his words and in his theology. In particular, Wolli Wonbon, which he wrote at the very beginning of his ministry, provides a comprehensive explanation of his core theology of God as both Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother.♦
This article is adapted from the full version which appears in the Journal of Unification Studies, Vol. XVI, 2015.
Dr. Andrew Wilson (UTS Class of 1978) is Professor of Scriptural Studies at Unification Theological Seminary. He edited World Scripture: A Comparative Anthology of Sacred Texts.
Photo at top: The Entrance Ceremony into the Cheon Jeong Gung and Coronation of True Parents as King and Queen of Cosmic Peace, June 13, 2006. There can be seen two thrones and two crowns for True Father and True Mother; and two thrones and two crowns for Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother.
Thank you, Dr. Wilson, for this article. In support of this concept of Heavenly Parent, in the Palauan language, there is a concept of Edam el Elid (father spirit) and Edil el Elid (mother spirit). This is common in many island cultures that see the harmony of male and female roles in nature and social systems. Legends exist saying at the time of the full moon, a couple (tkud me bechil) become visible as it is a time of high tide where all good things come to shore. Surely God has been preparing different cultures to understand this deeper explanation of God as a parent of fatherhood and motherhood.
I agree with Dr. Wilson’s article. It is a tragedy humanity has been unaware of God as our vertical divine gender-balanced Parent.
Honestly, using the unpublished and wholly unavailable Wolli Wonbon as the basis for an exegesis is unacceptable. The Wolli Wonbon lacks any veracity until it is published and accepted as a definitive work of Father. Using it borders on making up data. Until it’s available, Unificationists should stick to the published Divine Principle, clarified as possible with Father’s published words, to argue their points.
Frankly, the DP is enough to argue that God is of dual nature, and if Adam and Eve as a couple was God’s ideal, then plainly that ideal exists in God himself. Hence, understanding God as a mother and a father thru Divine Principle is hardly impossible. Even a man, in terms of raising children, is demonstrably capable of being a mother and a woman capable of being a father owing to their own dual natures…even though, plainly, one is male and the other female.
For your information, Wolli Wonbon (Original Text of the Divine Principle) is a manuscript written by True Father. In May 1952, the last chapter (on the LSA) was completed with the help of Rev. Won Pil Kim. It is not correct that Wolli Wonbon lacks any veracity until it is published and accepted as a definitive work of Father. There is one simple reason: When in 1957 Wolli Haesul (Explanation of the Principle) was published (300 copies), it was the manuscript made available for anyone. Unificationists should emphasize less the current Exposition of the Divine Principle (Wolli Kangron , 1966-present), and more Wolli Haesul (1952-57).
Wow! The idea of Heavenly Mother, which I thought was clearly implied but seldom explicitly stated in Father’s words, was in fact declared repeatedly and quite explicitly from the early ’50s! Some will no doubt claim that this idea evolved and quotes will be used to prove that Father changed his view in his later years, and so this analysis will not convince everyone, but this essay with its remarkable scholarship is a tremendous boon to all of us who want to understand Father’s essential thought from the totality of his life.
Andrew Wilson wrote:
“The term [Heavenly Parent] occurs once in Exposition of the Divine Principle (151), even though elsewhere God is referred to as Heavenly Father. In fact, that text is equivocal about the gender(s) of God. On the one hand, it characterizes God as primarily a masculine being: ‘In relation to the universe, God is the subject partner having the qualities of internal nature and masculinity.’ That statement would seem to imply that as created beings we should relate to God as our Heavenly Father. On the other hand, it states, ‘God, as the subject partner, has the dual characteristics of yang and yin in perfect harmony.’ That statement can be adduced as supporting the notion that God is both genders of the Heavenly Parent.”
Here is a clarification on God’s dual characteristics from Mrs. Gil Ja Sa Eu:
“To help your understanding about God’s Dual Characteristics, I am going to show you part of the diary written by Hyo Won Eu when he was editing Explanation of Divine Principle and Exposition of Divine Principle based on the Wolli Wonbon under Father’s supervision.
‘Monday, January 31, 1966: I asked [Teacher] whether Sungsang and Hyungsang are formed by the harmonization of Yin and Yang.
Teacher’s answer was the opposite. He said the harmonization of Sungsang and Hyungsang creates Yin and Yang. My world was turned upside down.
He overturned the traditional theory that everything comes into existence through the harmony of Yin and Yang. He explained that it is true in the world of cause and effect but not so with God.
If God already had Yin and Yang in Him, there would have been no creation.
He then explained that God exists as the harmony of Sungsang and Hyungsang and is the Yang type of existence. Therefore had to create the Yin type of world.
I asked Teacher if I could write that all things were created with Yin and Yan and Sungsang and Hyungsang because God has original Sungsang and original Hyungsang which have the relationship of man and woman. Teacher said yes and I realized his intention.’
‘Thursday, February 3, 1966: I had to rewrite the first part of the Principle of Creation. The argument is that Sungsang and Hyungsang are the most fundamental essence of all existence. I realized again that Teacher truly is the Original Body of the truth.'”
Thanks to Mr. Tardy for sharing some of Hyo Won Eu’s diary. I have also pondered on this difference between Exposition of the Divine Principle (as it reflects President Eu writing under Father’s guidance) and Wolli Wonbon. Clearly, the dual characteristics of Sungsang and Hyungsang have become a major theme in the Church’s understanding, so why didn’t True Father discuss these terms in Wolli Wonbon?
Unfortunately, we cannot ask Father directly, but if I were to hazard an opinion, I would say this: Wolli Wonbon was written in 1951, when True Father stood alone as the Lord of the Second Advent with the mission to find his Bride and establish the True Parents. Hence, the duality of masculinity and femininity were of central concern to him and to his mission. Later in 1966, when Exposition was being written, the positions of Father and Mother as True Parents were already set up. Hence, Father could give more emphasis to the dual characteristics that would guide human beings to prioritize the spiritual life.
A second reason is this: Korean Confucianism had long taught a yin-yang theory of creation, but as Exposition states, it lacks a God of personality. Thus the diary: “He overturned the traditional theory that everything comes into existence through the harmony of Yin and Yang.” In witnessing to Koreans with their Confucian background, it became important to stress this point in order to introduce them to a personal God, whose essential Sungsang nature is a heart of love.
Now the providence is at a point where people are questioning True Mother’s leadership. Hence, it seems apropos to remember Father’s original thinking in 1951 when the focus of his mission was to find and erect True Mother. That purpose did not vanish in the 1960s with Exposition; by then it was already taken as settled and on the way to fulfillment. Moreover, today the notion of the God of dual characteristics of masculinity and femininity, which was also a settled truth in Exposition of the Principle, is under attack. Yet we can appreciate that True Mother, when she introduced the concept of praying to Heavenly Parent, was building on that original insight, as well as Father’s words in many places.
Andrew, everyone agrees that prayer is characterized by direct communication with God. Can you point to a single instance in any of the hundreds of recorded prayers of our True Father where he ever addressed “Heavenly Parent”? I have looked and can’t find a single one. What do you make of that?
George, although Father customarily addressed God as Heavenly Father in his prayers, he sometimes referred to God as Heavenly Parent in those same prayers. How can that be? It is confusing.
My take on it is that because Father is a man, his relationship with God is mainly with Heavenly Father. Mother, being a woman, has a different kind of relationship with God, one that includes both the masculine and feminine sides of God; hence she finds it most comfortable to address God as Heavenly Parent. I know women in the church who in the privacy of prayer address God as Heavenly Mother. I think people’s style of prayer is different according to the way God comes to them.
In this sense, True Mother has opened the door for people who can benefit by a closer relationship to the feminine side of God to deepen their prayer life and their relationship with God the Mother. It also takes off what may have been a male straitjacket for God, whom human beings have been depicting as largely male, freeing God to manifest God’s self as female as well. This will be of particular benefit to women in their relationship with Heavenly Mother, as mentioned in one of the Wolli Wonbon quotes in my article.
I am so looking forward to new holy songs recognizing a harmonized masculine and feminine nature of God. Composers?
Do perfected blessed couples in spirit world eventually become just like our Heavenly Parent? Are we not to create like our HP did and become “God” to our creations? What else would we do for all eternity? Father did say, on rare occasions, that God had a beginning like us. That would make blessed couples who’ve achieved “perfection” even more like our Heavenly Parent whom we’re meant to resemble. Perhaps there are insights from Wolli Wonbon about these things, too?
The only mention of Heavenly Mother in the Original CSG refers to Perfected Eve in the spirit World. God as an incorporeal spiritual being is invisible in the spirit world. In addition, the two white thrones behind True Parents are their thrones in the Spirit World. They will be the Heavenly Parents. Once again the Original CSG has a section about God as being a father. As True Father clearly states:” If God already had Yin and Yang in Him, there would have been no creation.” God is not a Heavenly Father and a Heavenly Mother.
Pierre, does it really? Here’s the passage, and the reader can see for him/herself:
“Originally, when Adam reached perfection, the Heavenly Father would be perfected, and when Eve reached perfection, the Heavenly Mother would be perfected. Hence, if they become the lord and lady of the family, the kingship of the family-level heavenly kingdom would have arisen.”
The passage speaks of four beings: Adam, Heavenly Father, Eve, and Heavenly Mother. It is describing the corresponding correlative changes happening on earth and in heaven, where the emergence of perfected Adam and Eve would bring about the emergence of perfected God. The idea that God grows to perfection along with the perfection of Adam and Eve is a fundamental part of the Divine Principle. True Father spoke of it when he described the Four Realms of Heart using a diamond-shaped diagram where there was give-and-receive action among human beings below and simultaneously with God above.
As Jesus said, “What is bound on earth is bound in heaven, and what is loosed on earth is loosed in heaven.” Thus, the emergence of Jesus as True Father brought about the emergence of God as Heavenly Father, and now the emergence of True Parents brings about the emergence of God as Heavenly Parent.
This passage speaks of Adam and Eve only. In the spirit world, Perfected Adam and Perfected Eve occupy the Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother thrones.
Just a comment here. Actually, Andrew and Pierre, I think the original Korean shows clearly that Father is talking about two beings, Adam, who, once perfected and risen to the spirit world, would become the heavenly father; and Eve, who once perfected and risen to the spirit world would be the heavenly mother. Remember, the capitalized “Heavenly Father/Heavenly Mother” expression is English, not Korean (Korean does not use capitals).
That particular passage in the 2008 English CSG was printed with three different translations, giving the impression that the passages are different. In my view, a different (and more accurate) translation of the original Korean yields a very different nuance to the passage.
Here’s a relevant quote from the first edition of the Cheong Seong Gyeong (2006) on page 1476: “Adam is the manifestation of His male characteristics and Eve His female characteristics. From this perspective, although we usually say, ‘Our Heavenly Father,’ because He is just one being, the concept of God actually includes the idea of God being ‘Our Heavenly Father and Mother.'” (140-123, 1986.2.9)
Pierre, as you can see from the photo at the top of this article, there are four thrones: the two in front for the True Parents, and the two in the back — for whom? — Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother, the Heavenly Parents. Never in any of the ceremonies since the Enthronement of God’s Kingship on January 13, 2001, when the four thrones were first set up, do True Parents sit on the two thrones in the back that are reserved for the Heavenly Parents. They respect and honor the God position, pray to God, and in so many ways show that they are individual embodiments of truth distinct from the God whom they attend.
Furthermore, it was on January 13, 2001 that the symbolism of God’s two thrones was first introduced. That was the day of God’s enthronement, and the thrones were clearly for God. The True Parents made all the conditions of restoration to liberate God from the circumstance of being accused by Satan, who surrendered on March 21, 1999, so that God could reign unimpeded over the cosmos. At that time too, True Parents sat in their own chairs; they did not sit in God’s seats.
Given these facts, I cannot accept the notion that in the spirit world, Adam and Eve would sit on the thrones meant for Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother. They didn’t do that on earth, so they won’t do it in heaven either. The four thrones in these earthly ceremonies precisely correspond to the plain sense of the passage, as I have explained it above.
The two thrones behind TPs represent the two thrones of True Parents in the spirit world where, as True Father explained, they are the Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother. We will see God in the spirit world as the Heavenly Father and the Heavenly Mother which are perfected True Parents in the spirit [heavenly] realm. This is the way I understand it since God is invisible. In the four thrones ceremonies beside the one you mention here, we see a light projected against a background sky, representing God. By the way, this is how Hyung Jin Moon explained it in one of his videos of how he had the stage designed and built in Korea for one of these ceremonies.
In his last years, True Father talked quite a bit about the God of Night and the God of Day but not about Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother. When did Father state that the second set of thrones represented what you say they represent?
Thanks for your efforts, Andrew!
Pierre Tardy argues: If God already had Yin and Yang within Himself there would be no creation. This is refutable on two counts:
1. Creation is only possible through elements within the Creator, meaning to create from nothing or outside the world of the mind is not possible. This is common sense as well as natural science (see diagram below from New Essentials of Unification Thought, p. 14, 2006).
2. By first neglecting the gender components and later re-introducing the masculine aspects as the initiating, creating part, he actually sets the pattern of a new ontological framework: Namely to state that the female (woman) is a secondary being, made in the process of creation. It essentially means that women are of secondary value in comparison to man.
One may ask if the ladies of the SC are aware of this underlying heresy. When we wonder about how women feel under radical Islamic regimes, I would fear more this type of teaching that tries to cement women under the eternal reign of men. No thank you.
I’d like to make two suggestions:
DP and UT explain clearly God’s dual characteristics and True Parents refer to it in their speeches. It is like flesh and bone. While a scholar can dig out references that support his claim, it is quite unnecessary. There is Rev. Young Whi Kim, who is perfectly capable of answering questions about the early scriptures with high credibility since he is an expert on this since the early days. Why not ask him?
Secondly, the concept of duality is not new to us; some I know even prayed from a long time ago to Heavenly Parent. However the reality of the female God expressed through True Mother is something fresh, especially since we experience it in an intense form because True Father is not on earth anymore. We should allow ourselves to be surprised and taken into a new world of God’s heart, unexplored. “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.” (Matt. 5:17)
The theological discussion as to how we are supposed to address our Creator and now the additional discussion about two sets of thrones makes it easy for me to stick to the way I decided was the right one for me a while ago. I start my prayer with “Loving and gracious God…”. This is gender-neutral and includes both genders at the same time. And I feel comfortable with this in my prayers.
I look forward to the day when our discussion topics will be about the best methods to serve the world and how as a movement we can provide real solutions to the world’s problems.
Rohan wrote: “Pierre Tardy argues: If God already had Yin and Yang within Himself there would be no creation.”
Here is how I understand the quote from Mrs. Eu. It says: “There would have been no creation,” meaning that if God can have a subject [yang], object [yin] relationship within Himself, He would not need to create outside Himself. He did not need to create us and the whole universe [creation] as His object.
Mrs. Eu’s quote then says: “He [TF] then explained that God exists as the harmony of Sungsang and Hyungsang and is the Yang type of existence. Therefore had to create the Yin type of world.”
I appreciate Rohan for including the diagram from New Essentials of Unification Thought; it is the same as the diagram depicting God in the OSDP lectures. It clearly depicts that God has both sets of dual characteristics within Himself. Pierre hangs his argument on a rather cryptic quote from Mrs. Eu, one that would contradict NEUT and OSDP. What do I say to that? I don’t like building a theological edifice on a one-liner, a recollection from decades past, and one that is not even from an official text. I appreciate that NEUT and OSDP are well-developed explanations of the Principle, and Dr. Lee in writing Unification Thought consulted with Father at every step. So I trust that NEUT is accurate to Father’s understanding of the Principle. As to Mrs. Eu, she is referring to Father’s critique of traditional Yin-Yang theory, in which God lacks a SS and HS. As DP says, traditional Yin-Yang cosmology lacks a God of personality.
As Rohan says, Mr. Tardy and his fellow Sanctuarians, by denying the duality of genders in God, have created a new ontology, different from the Principle. It is one with far-reaching consequences, leading to a world of ugliness, a world where women can never experience their full value, where true love in the family can never be attained, and where excessive testosterone leads inevitably to violence and war.
If we look at Wolli Wonbon, there are a number of expressions that refer to fathers, mothers, parents, etc. For example, [geunbon aboji (root/fundamental father)] [geunbon omoni (root/fundamental mother)], [yeong-e aboji, yeong-e omoni (spiritual father/spiritual mother), also [hanal aboji, hanal omoni] (heavenly father, heavenly mother).
However, given a number of contexts, it seems that these different expressions can be interpreted in different ways, depending on one’s understanding.
For example, one passage talks about each person being an extension of the heavenly father and heavenly mother, or the heavenly father and heavenly mother arising (into being) being the object of desire for all who wait for the Lord of the Second Advent (suggesting that the heavenly father here is referring to true Adam coming and rising to that position of true father, etc., or those in the last days “must find the heavenly parents” again, suggesting this is actually referring to True Parents (if one considers that Heavenly Father God the creator at least has always been accessible). Considering that the expression “True Parents” does not occur in Wolli Wonbon, is it possible that [hanal pumo] “heavenly parents” in this text actually refers to True Parents?
Do [geunbon aboji] and [geunbon omoni] refer to the True Parents as well?
Andy, you raise a good point. The text of Wolli Wonbon is very difficult to understand, and many passages are ambiguous. That’s why I’ve been studying the text for more than 10 years and I am still not yet ready to put forward a translation. A lot depends on the sense of the individual passage. There are some passages where “geunbon aboji,” “original father,” seems to refer to the original Adam, or to True Father’s position, and even where “hanal bumo” can be translated “Parents from heaven,” meaning True Parents. But in other passages, the text is speaking about God, and there “hanal bumo” is most logically translated as Heavenly Parent — a term that True Father also used frequently in his speeches. As we go over passages again and again, we consider all possible meanings and try to settle upon the best translation for each one.
I am ready to defend these translations of the passages of Wolli Wonbon which I quoted in my article as clearly speaking about God as Heavenly Parent. It also seems evident that Wolli Wonbon connects the advent of True Parents and the emergence of Heavenly Parent(s), one being the earthly manifestation of the other.
Mrs. Eu has some erroneous passages in her book, unfortunately. Her book is her interpretation. She also says that Eve was created from Adam’s rib.
Father himself refutes the Judeo-Christian idea (myth) in his conversation with Dr. Young Oon Kim and then in Sept. 2007 at East Garden when he expounded on the Creation event. He said: “Adam and Eve were created in a special creation…as two peas in a pod…as twins” who became “two pillars of creation…and each was equidistant from the Godhead…each was the substantial body of God…of equal value…and each could perceive the principles of all creation” in the purity of God’s perception. As physics and biology explains, one cell consisting of the duality of nature’s essence then divides and forms two dizygotic cells forming the male and female embryos. Isn’t that beautiful and revolutionary!
The role of women has been clarified by the Messiah’s Divine Principle and Double Messiah couple existing as the mirror and actual essence and extension of the cosmic creation. Beautiful God.
Andrew, it is good to know that UTS has acquired a copy of Wolli Wonbon. Thanks for your help in making it available to us in the West. It will help people to understand True Father’s earlier thought, what remained consistent throughout his life, and how much his thought developed. It seems quite clear, particularly after your exposition, that the two genders of God was a foundational aspect of his work and teaching, and the later quote cited by Jim Mathison pretty much sums up his thought and why he often used the conventional language of Heavenly Father, even though theologically he understood God as the unity of two genders.
Why do we see the individual as the basic unit of humanity? Husband and wife become one flesh, one heart, one mind. In a sense, the unified couple is the basic unit of humanity. Only it (the couple) can produce new life and lineage.
Since, as Father says, the concept of God actually includes Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother, then why do we not bite the bullet and refer to God as our “Heavenly Parents” (plural) instead of our “Heavenly Parent” (singular)? Perhaps it’s just too much for most people to digest?
Father took a long time to reveal (at least to Westerners) that Zechariah was Jesus’ father, perhaps because he felt for a long time that it was just too much truth for Western Christians to digest. I think it would do us good to strongly speak of such things in our wide-open Internet age.