These days Unificationists may ask themselves, “Where are we in the providence? Where is God’s work headed?” When Reverend Moon was alive this was not a pressing issue, because he set the direction and we could simply follow.
But since he passed on in 2012 to take his place in heaven, things on earth have not been so simple. Furthermore, in 2013 Foundation Day arrived, proclaiming the victorious conclusion of the providence of restoration, but where did that leave us?
In my experience, every time Father made a providential announcement, it typically took three or four years to comprehend its meaning. It’s the same today; we needed some distance in time to understand what has happened since the dramatic events of 2012 and 2013. Now in 2017 we can begin to see more clearly how the providence is changing and where it is heading.
Of course, the most obvious change is that Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, True Mother, has begun putting her stamp on the movement. Also, we are coming to know God not just as Heavenly Father but as Heavenly Parent, and some of us are exploring what it means to relate to God not only as Father but also as Mother.
Change has always been a feature of God’s providence. Reading the Chambumo Gyeong, we can see the movement has passed through different eras, from the early days of pioneer missionary work, to the 1980s when we confronted communism, to the 1990s when we developed an interreligious and international family movement for peace, to the 2000s when we could witness the dawning of God’s royal sovereignty.
As the providence advanced from one stage to the next, we had to change our mindsets to adapt to new realities and challenges. So what is new about the reality of this era, and how should our mindset change to better align with the era of True Mother?
First, it is the era of women. In coming to value True Mother, we are beginning to understand what it means that she is the embodiment of Mother God on earth. She always had that value, but formerly when True Father was carrying the burden of the providence on his broad shoulders, her value was largely hidden. Now that True Mother has stepped up and come into her own, we can discover new facets of Heavenly Parent — the feminine ones — to treasure and incorporate into our own lives.
For a man like myself, this begins with listening to my wife and not moving forward without her agreement. It means valuing women’s opinions and listening more. Women should be rising up to lead, but first men, who have been culturally conditioned for 6,000 years to believe that leadership is primarily a man’s job, need to restrain their sense of entitlement and give women space where they can develop and manifest their light. Then True Mother will be able to see her daughters, her second selves, rising up throughout the world.
Second, we need to give more emphasis to the Principle of Creation in the way we lead our lives. The providence of restoration through indemnity, which True Father led, was entirely aimed at defeating Satan. What, then, are the full implications of the fact that Satan has surrendered? Our traditional way of life in the Principle was to make indemnity conditions, but Father declared toward the end of his life that the world is no longer ensnared to anything having to do with the Fall, including indemnity.
This opens the possibility we can move forward to build better families and a better world by means other than paying indemnity. The rigors of the indemnity course were required to defeat an archangel. This was a masculine approach — sacrificing and fighting until he submitted. Indeed, the way set out by Unificationism has been strongly masculine, a world of Cains and Abels that needed to be set right by one brother surrendering to the other. But with the archangel having been defeated, what now? We can always identify more archangels to subjugate, but should we stay on that level? Casting judgment on sin and treating the world as an ideological battlefield can only take us so far.
Living by the Principle of Creation is about creating godly families and uniting the world as one great family. The ideal of the Principle of Creation is the world of spherical harmony. True Mother has lifted up the word hyo jeong, filial heart, because it is the original core virtue of the family around which spherical motion occurs. Children who are filial to their parents, families that are filial to their nation, and everyone filial to Heavenly Parent — such is the world of the Principle of Creation.
In a family that lives by the Principle of Creation, both the father and mother are needed for the best flow of love. As a father and a mother have different ways of leading their family, we can see the masculine approach of separating Satan and subjugating Cain needs to be counterbalanced by feminine approaches to solving problems. In the family, a feminine approach to resolving conflict might be to listen to each side’s concerns and go deep into the reasons why anger and other negative emotions arise. It might bring growth and increased understanding, rather than subjugating.
Thus we can see that in the era of True Mother the time has come to rebalance the scales for how we proceed with the project of building God’s Kingdom by uplifting the hitherto hidden feminine side of God and Her works.
As True Mother strives to realize the Principle of Creation, there are many points of her leadership we can emulate. Let me point out a few:
First, it goes without saying that she, more than anyone else, honors True Father, treasures his words, and seeks to complete what he began. She alone honored the traditional Korean way of mourning by attending his tomb nearly every day for three years. None of his children did that; only Mother. She honored his words by packaging them in the three Cheon Il Guk scriptures — a more attractive and accessible collection than the diverse group of texts Father designated as the Eight Textbooks. Chambumo Gyeong in particular gives us an understanding about the course of True Parents’ life and the steps they took in pursuing God’s providence that were largely unknown until now.
Second, when True Mother speaks, there’s deep heart in every word, expressing the hyo jeong she speaks of. That is the center we connect to when we go out to face our missions. We can succeed if we keep that heart at the center and work together, balancing the masculine virtue of individual initiative with the feminine virtue of collaboration that values each person’s input. Thereby, the movement can manifest spherical harmony.
Third, True Mother is a builder. At Cheongpyeong she is building a beautiful complex of buildings to showcase True Parents’ teachings and accomplishments. It is where the Kingdom of God can be seen and felt as real. It doesn’t matter that the Hyo Jeong Cheonwon, as the Cheongpyeong complex is now called, is only a small place in the land of Korea; at least there, people will touch something substantial and get a glimpse of the heavenly kingdom. Beyond conditions and foundations, that is a substantial result, a model which can be expanded and emulated.
Fourth, True Mother is creative and expresses her own uniqueness. She operates from the divine center within her own self. She has her own style, different from True Father’s. For one thing, she doesn’t preach for hours on end or give numerous detailed directions to follow. Her message is always short: take responsibility for your tribe and your nation. In this, she also gives us room to be creative and express our own uniqueness in tackling the challenges before us.
I believe True Mother wants to be surprised and delighted with the results we bring. Have you ever thought that even God might like to be an object partner who takes delight in responding to us? The deepest desire of the Heavenly Mother side of God is to be our Object Partner who delights to behold the fruits of Her children’s lives — their love, dignity and righteous activities for the Will. When our Heavenly Parent rejoices in this way, we complete the circle of giving and receiving that is the Principle of Creation.♦
Adapted from the author’s article appearing in the April 2017 issue of True Peace magazine.
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 and World Scripture and the Teachings of Sun Myung Moon.
Thank you, Dr. Wilson, for this great guidance on how to respond to True Mother and other women in this time, based upon the Principle of Creation. We must honor our wives, sisters and daughters and help them to “be all they can be” for God’s purpose.😃
Dear Dr. Wilson,
Many thanks for your untiring efforts; you are a shield of protection of heaven.
Allow me to touch on a few points from your essay:
1. You write that the era of indemnity is over and rightfully point to the era of restoration in which Satan was defeated by True Parents. However, for us there are many small devils at work. Our former CD used to encourage us to pay indemnity. From my experience, Cheonseong as I learned it has become a big part of my life. In fact I doubt that we are able to see and understand True Parents without going through hardship ourselves. Becoming the salt or fertilizer is exactly this. Using it to advance the providence around us. On the scale of True Family the sacrifice of Heung Jin Nim brought about the Cheongpyeong Providence which saved countless lives, including mine.
2. You write True Mother speaks less and by this gives us more time to be creative. As for my part, I use the “spare” time to try to understand the teaching and words of True Parents more deeply. Especially now as UT has become the focus it takes my full attention. We have so much material to cover from our True Parents. The Christians only have a few words from Jesus, but keep repeating them ever since and publish volumes on them in interpretations; how much more rich are we. What I want to say is that we should be careful not to be carried away by our “creativity” without deep understanding. One example: A group of designers made a beautiful presentation on the first chapter. However they included here one graphic from chapter two. It sounds reasonable when they explained it, but they should have made more effort in understanding why the first chapter is written as it is. We who joined in the ’70s were caught by the pure truth of the teaching and experienced the Holy Spirit. Perhaps we tend to leave out the spiritual reality and to just think to be rational… to add another important point that I will not go into for now.
In applying the content in daily life of course I am quite creative I would say.
3) Yes, the three Holy Scriptures are incredibly valuable and the internal and external production quality is stunning. I have one technical critique however: The volume Chambumo Gyong differs on the cover from the other two. The colours (silver white) have almost faded away completely. I bought two books, both have the same issue. Is it possible to have the same gravure standard in production like the others too, or was I just unlucky? (When you touch the surface you can notice the difference, one is just flat, but the other two are engraved.)
Rohan, thank you for these very important comments. I completely agree with your first two points, and I’m not in a position to comment on the third.
Let me add this: our task of engrafting onto True Parents benefits immensely by life experiences that deepen our heartistic connection with them. But it’s not enough to go through hardship; we also have to inherit their loving hearts for all people. The most valuable hardships are those that we go through willingly out of a loving heart for God and other people. Sometimes in the past, our life of indemnity was to suffer hardships without always the concomitant growth of heart and love. Suffering by itself can create resentment and a rigid spirit. So the fact that we are beyond indemnity should actually make our experiences of hardships more meaningful, because we can use those hardships as opportunities for real self-development and heart cultivation.
I recall back when the emphasis was on defeating Communism (and secular thought by extension), Father said the next big battle would be over immorality and sexual purity.
I see that as the current front lines these days. On my campus, transgender issues and sexual identity are at the forefront, being celebrated on the front pages of the student-run newspaper. The core principles of Black Lives Matter include “disrupting the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure requirement” as well as being “transgender affirming” (the words males or men do not appear anywhere among the guiding principles), my students constantly refer to the “binary fallacy,” with Facebook offering users the option of identifying themselves from a list of 57 different “gender identities” (perhaps a copyright infringement from Heinz?). I need to be cautious about using gender-specific pronouns (like he or she) in class discussions. And Bill Nye is out to save the world from restrictive sexual taboos (“sex junk”), and so forth.
As Professor Alastor “Mad-Eye” Moody repeatedly advised Harry Potter in the fourth book: “Constant vigilance!”
Walter, this is indeed a battleground. But the Christian approach of condemning deviance hasn’t worked, and it won’t work now. Divine Principle offers the solution, which is the ideal of absolute sex in a true, Blessed marriage centered on God. If young men and women can keep to this goal, they can be motivated to keep their purity despite the secular trends. They can be motivated to work on their First Blessing as a foundation for a healthy and loving family life in the future. It is True Parents who opened that vision, by their example as a True Couple who have led such valuable lives for God and humankind. Their beautiful marriage is in itself a gift to humankind, that we may follow their example.
I don’t know for how long HP-God will allow me to live upon this earth. I’m realizing day after day that the relationship between man-woman is the key to make the Ideal of Creation come through. And that’s why Cham Omonim has to go through difficulties that Cham Abonim didn’t need to experience. And probably somewhere in the spiritual world the best supporter of TM is her husband with all of his True Love for her. I hope to be able to see with my physical eyes that day when harmony between man-woman will be seen according to God’s ideal of creation.
“Change has always been a feature of God’s providence.” “As the providence advanced from one stage to the next…” I just wonder why people seem to take the method of change so much for granted. Ought we not to understand any rhyme or reason in all of this?
If you understand the Principle well, and especially True Parents’ life course in the Chambumo Gyeong, you can recognize that behind the changes that have taken place is one consistent Principle. If you don’t recognize the “rhyme or reason,” you will be lost.
Who is Mother’s successor?