Rev. Sun Myung Moon spoke on both sides of many matters.
He considered God to appear as Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother, but addressed Him only as Heavenly Father.
He referred to himself and his wife, Hak Ja Han Moon, as being free from original sin and as having original sin.
Father Moon consistently proclaimed that the wholesale success of his movement was imminent and yet spoke as if successive 40 year courses were inevitable.
He referred to Mother Moon as queen of the universe and as hopeless without him.
Through database searches of Rev. Moon’s speeches, Unificationist scholar Dr. Jin Choon Kim found numerous examples of divergent statements. On some topics, Father Moon’s words are 100% consistent. On others the divergence is 95% to 5%, 80% to 20%, and as much as 50%-50%.
Rev. Moon’s words provide plenty of citations to justify the claims of any number of sects to be his sole orthodox successors and to excommunicate those who choose to follow his words that justify the opposite position.
The Introduction to Exposition of Divine Principle states this exact dynamic provided justification for Christians to divide into hundreds of denominations. “Divergent interpretations of such symbolic and metaphorical Bible verses have inevitably led to the division of Christianity into denominations.” (p. 11) It provides both an analysis and a solution to this problem.
Analysis of the Problem
One, scriptures are susceptible to diverse interpretations. In the Bible, the cause Exposition of Divine Principle points to is that it is written in parables and symbols which can be interpreted in different ways. Father Moon’s words also are susceptible to diverse interpretations.
Two, “Spiritual mediums are often confused and fall into conflict among themselves, because the levels of the spirit world with which they are in communication and the content of the revelations they receive differ. Although spiritually perceptive people are in contact with the same spirit world, because their circumstances and positions vary and their character, intellect and spirituality are at different levels, they will perceive the spirit world in different ways. These differences give rise to conflicts among them. (p. 142) Substitute “Unificationist spiritualists” and this statement applies well to our movement’s history and present status.
Three, “People who contribute to the providence of restoration usually are responsible for only a part of the providence. Focusing only on their vertical relationship with God, they are often not sensitive to their proper horizontal relationship with other spiritually attuned people. Strife can break out among them, as each thinks that the Will of God which he serves is different from that which the others are serving.” (p. 142) Substitute, “True Children” or “devoted disciples” and this statement applies well to our movement’s history and present status.
Exposition of Divine Principle does not place blame on those conflicting individuals or groups. It is in large part inevitable. With respect to spiritualists, “Their conflicts are aggravated when each of them receives the revelation that he is the best. Yet God offers such encouragement to spur each on to do his very best in carrying out his particular mission within the greater providence. God also gives such revelations because each is, in truth, the one best suited for his respective area of mission.” (pp. 142-43)
With respect to those called to leadership, “To accomplish the providence of restoration in a short period of time, God apportions different missions to numerous individuals and relates to each of them independently. It is thus virtually inevitable that conflicts break out among spiritually sensitive people.” (p. 143)
Solution to the Problem
The solution, according to the Divine Principle, is a new truth.
With respect to ambiguous scriptures, “The new truth, for which we long, should provide plain answers. …Only with the aid of the new truth, with its clear explanations, can we bring about Christian unity.” (p. 11)
With respect to leadership roles, “At the end of history, God will provide them with the new truth. The new truth will help them understand that the unique missions with which each has been entrusted are all for the sake of the same ultimate purpose of God. It will guide them to cooperate with each other and work in harmony to accomplish the greater purpose of the providence of restoration.” (p. 12)
Universal comprehension of the truth will bring harmony: “Only then will they be able to overcome the confusion stemming from past horizontal conflicts. Only then can each arrive at the fulfillment of his individual path of faith and bring forth its beautiful fruits.” (p. 143)
Exposition of Divine Principle actually attributes to this new truth a God-like status: “[I]n order for God’s providence of salvation to be completely fulfilled, this new truth should first elevate the idealism of the democratic world to a new level, then use it to assimilate materialism, and finally bring humanity into a new world. This truth must be able to embrace all historical religions, ideologies and philosophies and bring complete unity among them.” (p. 8)
All this, plus: Unite all people as to the meaning of the Bible, reconcile religion and science, “lead fallen people to block the ways of the evil mind and to pursue the goals of the original mind, enabling them to attain goodness,” (p. 7), “reveal the Heart of God” (p. 8), provide the light under which “all those who have struggled over the long course of history to dispel the darkness of ignorance will gather,” form one God-centered family, open “a new historical era …wherein people simply will not commit sins,” (p. 9) and “guide fallen human beings to return to their original state.” (p. 10)
Divine Principle calls us to repent and to seek this new truth: “In this era, all spiritually gifted people should cease their stubborn insistence that they alone have been serving the Will of God. They should search out the higher and more comprehensive words of truth which can help them correctly understand their positions and the true nature of their providential missions.” (p. 143)
It then states where they will find it: “God has sent one person to this earth to resolve the fundamental problems of human life and the universe. His name is Sun Myung Moon. …Through intimate spiritual communion with God and by meeting with Jesus and many saints in Paradise, he brought to light all the secrets of Heaven. The words presented in these pages are only a portion of this truth.” (p. 12)
And now, lo and behold, we find that Rev. Moon’s words themselves are ambiguous on crucial points!
The Trouble with Translation
To deal with this, I drew upon my experience copy-editing rough translations of Rev. Moon’s words. I served in this capacity from 1983 when I was invited to redact Father Moon’s teachings into a short book to be sent to Christian clergy during the Danbury course. The book was God’s Warning to the World. I edited the first volume and Dr. Andrew Wilson did the second.
Over the following decades I copy-edited dozens of Rev. Moon’s public speeches and, as part of teams, the 1996 edition of Exposition of Divine Principle and, most recently, the three volumes of the Heavenly Scriptures.
In that work, I dealt with so many ambiguous passages. In fact, every sentence was a puzzle, and some were downright incomprehensible. Moreover, I found contradictions among sentences in the same paragraph.
Most problems were solved by organizing sentences into simple subject-verb-object order. And now we get into the nature of the Korean language.
I don’t speak Korean, but know its syntax is opposite to the basic order of English. Syntax governs the way the mind works. English speakers think in terms of who did what to whom? What are you saying to me? For Korean, it’s “What? You don’t understand that?”
In Korean syntax, the verb comes at the end; there are no prepositions. Is it one of a kind (“the”), or one of many (“a”)? It’s not clear! Singular and plural in Korean are ambiguous, gender is unclear, verb tense is ambiguous or unstated, whether a verb is active or passive is unclear, subject partners go unstated (the reader is assumed to know without being told) and, most importantly, subject-object relations are ambiguous. Something happened, but who caused it, and whom was affected by it? In all these things, the reader is assumed to grasp intuitively.
English does not work that way. It is an exact, “scientific” language. Everything has to be clear; nothing left up for grabs — at least that’s its aspiration. It is legalistic. Whereas this, whereas that, clause number one, clause number two, because of this, therefore, we conclude this. Korean is a language that trusts the heart of the listener to grasp what you mean.
A Theological Perspective
Now, add to this the fact Father Moon is speaking about intangibles, about spiritual things, things that happened eons ago, things that are too complex and sensitive to talk about explicitly. And at a rapid-fire pace, with a northern dialect, and to different audiences at different times for different purposes, sometimes addressed to specific persons, sometimes applicable to all humankind.
Add the fact that the philosophical foundation of Divine Principle is relationship, reciprocity. English is linear. A did B to C. Therefore, C did D to A. The essential reality is A’s existence and A’s action upon C, which has its own existence. The usual analogy is that of one billiard ball hitting another. In Divine Principle, one does not separate subject and object partners. A and C do not exist independently. The essential reality is the relationship they have with each other. The analogy would be that of one billiard ball hitting the entire rack. No one knows where any particular ball is going to end up.
So the reader and the text — in this case Father Moon’s words — are not independent existences. The essential reality is their relationship. This, of course, is Kantian. The meaning is in the relationship. Don’t just look at sentences or clauses; look at the entire paragraph, the entire speech, the year, the decade, the whole providence.
Now how do I sort this out? Let me give an example.
I came upon a sentence in a rough translation of a Korean essay on chapter four of the Exposition of Divine Principle, “The Messiah: His Advent and the Purpose of His Second Coming.” It read something like: “The Messiah is the king who spills the oil.” I thought, “What is the author talking about?” Then I recalled the first sentence of the Divine Principle’s chapter four, which reads: “The word ‘Messiah’ in Hebrew means the “anointed one.” So I rendered that sentence, “The word messiah means the ‘anointed one,’ signifying a king.”
Reflecting on this, it struck me that the author had used a translator who did not know the Bible, in which anointing takes place by pouring oil. It struck me that in Korean, perhaps going back to Chinese ideographs, anointing must convey an image of pouring, or spilling, oil. And so the translator, unfamiliar with the Bible, had no recourse but to translate the Korean literally. The text ended up not with a Messiah who casts a fire on the earth, but who spills oil on it.
Now, this humorous example illustrates the problem, and it goes even deeper than the difficulties of translating Korean into English. The fact is even Koreans have a hard time interpreting Rev. Moon’s words. Many times we copy editors would be stumped by a sentence and would go back to a native Korean speaker to find out whether it meant A or B. Sometimes the Korean could resolve it, but sometimes the answer was that the original Korean itself was ambiguous. Digging deeper, sometimes we would resolve the conundrum by discovering a third rendering.
If the problem was that the sentence had no subject, then we would have to look at the paragraph and determine by the context who Father Moon meant to have as the subject. Was it Mother herself? Was it Heavenly Mother? Was it a woman he was speaking to? Was it all women? So much content essential to the English expression had to be deduced by context.
The Mission of the New Truth
Now, what if, in the context, there were apparent contradictions? My rule of thumb was this: Father Moon always speaks the Principle. To apply to the spilled oil example, I knew from the Principle that being the Messiah has nothing literally to do with oil spills. And I know from the Bible that pouring oil is the method of anointing and, from Divine Principle and the Bible, that the Messiah is the anointed one. The translator, knowing neither Principle nor the Bible, translated literally.
I found a universal truism: when I asked myself, “What interpretation here is consistent with the Principle?” and applied it, I found that suddenly the entire paragraph made perfect sense. All the wrinkles were smoothed out. I realized Father always teaches the Principle. That became my rule of thumb. Edit in line with the Divine Principle.
Therefore, to understand Father Moon’s words, we need to interpret them according to the Principle. Here are exemplary principles that help me work through current divergences of interpretation.
One, Principle teaches that the Messiah in his secondary and tertiary course takes the position of John the Baptist. Father Moon said that not only Jesus and he, but also Mother, took the position of John the Baptist. John the Baptist had original sin. Therefore, Jesus, Father and Mother Moon could be said in certain contexts to have had, or to have, original sin, and in other contexts to have had, or to have, no original sin.
Two, Principle teaches that God abandons His beloved ones, tempts them, tests them, and even tries to kill them. (p. 227) Therefore, Father Moon at the hands of God went through six or seven deaths and resurrections, and Mrs. Moon endured chastisement from Rev. Moon.
Three, Principle teaches that what is predestined is contingent upon human actions. For that reason — indeed, to divinize our actions — God makes, through prophets, dual prophecies. If Jesus had established the kingdom on earth in his lifetime, it would have fulfilled prophecy and been predestined. The crucifixion and 2,000 years of suffering also fulfilled prophecy and was predestined. Human beings participate in creating the outcome, which God later calls predestined. So if Christianity had accepted Father Moon in the mid-1940s, his first marriage would have been predestined. The Holy Marriage Blessing in 1960 succeeded, so that — not the first — was predestined.
Four, positions, not persons, are predestined. The position of true man and woman, only begotten sons and daughters of God who come together as True Parents, is predestined and all persons are predestined to fulfill these positions. But when we do so is contingent; it depends upon us fulfilling our portion of responsibility. Sun Myung Moon and Hak Ja Han, I believe, fulfilled their portion of responsibility and therefore are the predestined True Parents, only begotten Son and only begotten Daughter of God. By virtue of that, all people are predestined to take the position of true man and woman, as described above, through them.
Five, once a husband and wife establish oneness in marriage centered on God, no force in the universe can sunder them. To explain this, I give the example of a child’s attitude toward his or her parents. The parents surely will rebuke and punish the child on occasion, in different forms based on their age and disposition. The child will surely think that his or her parents don’t love him or her anymore. This is not the case; in fact, the opposite is true. It is because they love the child that the parents rebuke and punish. The oneness of the parent and child can never be sundered. So too, an observer may think that spouses are at odds with each other, are going different directions, don’t see eye to eye on something. But in fact, the opposite is true. It is because they are one that they can disagree, dispute and take different sides on any number of things. A brittle car will fall apart on a rough road. A strong car can withstand any stresses. There are no stresses in the universe that can sunder spouses from each other in a true marriage.
Without understanding these and more such points of Principle, it can look as if Rev. Moon is contradicting himself. Factions, most notably those led by three of his sons, invariably stand on one side of an apparent contradiction and ignore his words on the other side.
I write this with confidence that the Family Federation led by Mother Moon acknowledges that Father Moon sometimes said one thing, and sometimes another, but that his words always express the Divine Principle. I am confident the Principle resolves all apparent contradictions without excluding the significance of either side. I am confident also in the Principle counsel, that with the aid of the new truth, with its clear explanations, we can bring about Unificationist unity.♦
Dr. Tyler Hendricks (UTS Class of 1978) is adjunct professor of ministry at Unification Theological Seminary, host of True Parents Way website, and a member of the Cheon Il Guk Academy. He served in leadership roles with IOWC, Ocean Church, American CARP, the International Religious Foundation, and HSA New England Region before becoming President of the Unification Church of America (1995-2000) and of Unification Theological Seminary (2000-10). His podcasts, videos and articles appear regularly on True Parents Way.
I’ve argued this point a thousand times in person and through media. Divine Principle is our rock. Everything Father ever said was to explain Divine Principle, and Father only spoke DP. Everything Father said about DP and God always centred on unconditional love. All else is tactical, so to speak. To know how to live providential lives, we need only cognise Divine Principle; the more “spiritual” you are as a person, the more insistently you need DP. When we use Father’s words, we have a duty to reconcile what we claim he’s saying with what he said everywhere else. Everywhere. If we can’t reconcile those things acceptably, then we cannot use Father’s words to justify any single thing. When we do anyway, we are twisting Father’s words, manipulating others and undermining Divine Principle all for the benefit of “proving” the veracity of our point of view. And yet the proof fails anyway because we haven’t reconciled our view with the opposite, which Father would have spoken on. You could even wonder if Father brought out these seemingly conflicting views on purpose. To those who understand this, it’d certainly drive one to a fuller understanding of God.
The second really useful point you make, for me, is the notion of relationship and interconnectedness. Father is a man of Heart, not Mind. How impossible it is for a human being to talk about real Heart in this fallen world where the concept is so very foreign to us. We might even consider that God helped Korean language to develop in its rationally useless way as a means to permit the expression of Heart (I don’t know, but perhaps ancient Hebrew is similar?). Of course, we must both understand Heart as well as Korean to make use of it, almost like a code book. I used to speak Korean conversationally, but forgot a lot of words in the intervening years. Even so, you have to understand the heart behind the language to really grasp the meanings expressed therein, just like people can learn American English, yet not know Americans’ hearts, and never really understand where Americans are coming from and, thus, never actually understand Americans’ heart. We know all about that. But the shoe fits the other foot, too.
More significantly, as you say, position is never in the person, but in the task. Worshipping those doing a task leads one astray, out of Principle. We have ample evidence for it. Divine Principle is our “god,” until we know God. There’s no point served nitpicking this issue, so I won’t. Ultimately, we must always “judge” by Heart, not deed. Deeds can be unhelpful or confusing, but understanding Heart lets us transcend that in the end. And transcending is what we’re all about, not building fortresses to take on all comers.
All in all, a pretty reasoned, grounded argument. Glad you put it out.
This article underscores the very fundamental differences in perspective between Korean and Western cultures. Korean is a language that depends on people knowing each other’s heart, which is natural in a country which focuses primarily on its identity as a unified whole, not as a collection of individuals seeking self-actualization. Spiritual truths pose an added difficulty in that they so often involve paradox anyway.
Korean relies heavily on the intuition of the listener, and Koreans primarily relate from their intuitive sense. They know what is in the heart of another person, and this gives context to the words of the other.
Western logic derives from ancient Greek philosophers. Aristotle settled for the next 2,000 years that a statement is either true or not true. Western science is based on Aristotelian logic.
With the dimension of intuition informing the give and take, what looks like direct contradiction to a Westerner would seldom look that way to a Korean within the Korean community context.
What is interesting is that intuition is a very feminine quality, and yet Korean is a male-dominant society in its structure. However, Korean women are very strong and forceful participation is not discouraged in Korea, except in the case of public challenge to an authority figure.
Congratulations, Tyler, on an insightful and thought-provoking piece.
My first response is: Hmmmm, maybe we need to have a list of issues and quotes we can use to try to resolve the apparent contradictions in TF’s teaching, like Abelard did in Sic et Non. We could call in Ye and Aniyo — 예 and 아니요. This could be the beginning of Unificationist Scholasticism.
Second response: I appreciated your reflections as an editor/compiler of TF’s words. Makes me feel I need to get to work on my article for the AU Blog on “Confessions of a Divine Principle Editor.” (I coordinated the first edition of the Black Book DP, worked on the three person editing of the second edition — both editions in 1973 — and consulted on the EDP new translation in 199) Boy do I have some stories to tell!
Third response: Thank very much for pulling this together and offering your insights. Keep up the good work.
Thank you, Dr. Hendricks.
Certainly language and cultural contexts can cause problems on our attempts to seek truth and understanding.
In a recent conversation with two Western members who have lived in Korea for decades, speak the language fluently and have edited some of Father’s speeches, they informed me that whenever Father referred to the eight stages of development, he used the term “son of a concubine” rather than “adopted son,” the term we read in the English translations of his speeches. Obviously, contextualization is necessary, for in Oriental cultures the idea of a “concubine” has different historical and social connotations. It’s easy to see how disputations arise if we are not fully aware of certain cultural modalities.
With regard to Alison’s observation regarding intuition being a feminine quality, I would just say that if we hold that to be true then there needs to be a more harmonious conjoining of feminine-based intuition and masculine-based structure. Both are valuable and when Father spoke about the unity of men and women or East and West he was likely referring to the need for these attributes to be in the cultural equation of an ideal world. It’s not an either/or proposition.
When we examine the idea of “heart and deed” (Christopher’s observation), how we act is always predicated on two things; heart and reason. These two attributes are not merely contingently related, but must be in a harmonious relationship as well. Reason can judge the truth or spuriousness of the judgments at the heart of an emotion and pronounce an emotion to be appropriate, inappropriate, misguided, and so on. Knowing “the truth” should prevent all sorts of deleterious behavior and guide us as to what we “ought to do” in any given circumstance. Yes, Father was a man of heart, but he was also a man of principle.
From January 1982 until January 1989, I served as the primary transcriptionist and editor for all of True Father’s Belvedere speeches and other public speeches to the general membership. As a member of the staff for the primary translator at that time, Dr. Bo Hi Pak, I was responsible for what was then called the Speech Library at the World Mission Center in NYC. Margaret Herbers had been doing the job for several years and was moving on. She had an excellent grasp of the English language, and she trained me on the importance of conveying the essence of what Father was saying, but also to avoid awkwardness. Dr. Pak was very concerned about the negative reactions to some of the poorly edited speeches from the 1970s (“I am your brain,” etc.).
Other people would help with the editing and proof-reading, but I was the person who usually listened to the speech via headphones and then typed up the transcript. From that first draft, I would go on to second and third drafts, employing my best editing abilities as a person with a bachelor’s degree in English — and no previous editing experience. Even at the first level of transcription — transferring the spoken word to the written word — I was making decisions. “What did he (the translator) say? What did he mean? How do I condense that convoluted sentence into a more concise one, without changing its meaning?” It required all my concentration and focus, as one might imagine.
As Dr. Hendricks states above, a heartfelt knowledge of the Divine Principle is absolutely necessary for editing and understanding the words of True Father. I knew I wasn’t the smartest, best educated person for the job, but somehow I was chosen, and I knew it was a great blessing.
If anyone has ever tried to render a spontaneously spoken — and translated — speech into a polished, publication-ready manuscript, he or she understands the challenges and potential pitfalls. It is easy to insert one’s personal perspective into such a process, either by the turn of a phrase or even by the length of a sentence. When attending a speech in person, especially by someone as vibrant as True Father, it is a total experience of his body language, tone, facial gestures, etc. But the written word has none of those advantages. It is a cut and dried rendition of the total experience of the sight, sound and spirit of a speech.
That is why I’ve always recognized that the written word must not become a tool for division, judgment or hatred of others — especially the spoken word of God as delivered by our True Father.
Thank you, Dr. Hendricks. The point you make under numbers three and four is very important, namely that predestination is being realised upon the fulfilment of human responsibility. I had to explain this to a number of members and even leaders, so it is very helpful that this is underpinned by a Unificationist scholar.
This is a good piece of Unification apologetics applied to the current conflict among the three groups. I see your efforts here as part of a significant trend unfolding among those who are delving deeper into “meaning-making” about “all things Unification.” It is good you acknowledge the “inner subjective” nature of the reader in the context of interpreting “new truth.” For too long, I think, Unification culture norms have not paid attention to this inner subjective reality each individual experiences while living in the world and trying to “make sense of it all.”
Is the new truth you speak of here a “thing,” like a rock on a walking trail that anyone can stumble upon, pick up, and hold in hand? Is Sun Myung Moon’s way of seeing God, the world, history, life, etc., supposed to be the same “way of seeing” by all 7.5 billion people of the world? If the new truth is like a rock, then the answer looks like a yes, correct?
It is apparent to me given the current conflict between the FFWPU, Family Peace Association and Sanctuary Church, this new truth you speak of is not being interpreted the same way by those who stumble upon it; so for me, True Father’s spoken and written words (and even his behavior) cannot be the best “measure” to “understand the truth” he sought to convey to us.
There was a time, perhaps, when, at least, the concept of a “New Truth” intrigued and captivated me, deeply. The fiery, living Subjective Embodiment walked among us — and all was possible.
Alas, having also been witness to (and part of) some of the processes of distillation and dissemination of The Word myself over many years, it would seem to me, that this, too, is vanity.
As Laura noted: “the written word must not become a tool for division,” yet there you have it.
Biblically, Ecclesiates and Chronicles highlight the “Chosen/Truth Bearer” dilemma, perhaps most starkly:
“That which has been is that which will be. And that which has been done is that which will be done. So there is nothing new under the sun. Is there anything of which one might say, “See this, it is new”? Already it has existed for ages which were before us.” (Ecclesiastes 1:9-10)
And yet, the hope for deliverance (embracing whatever Embodiment one chooses these days) remains:
“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14 NIV)
“Unificationist unity” . . . ah . . . and thank you.
I would like to say kamsahamnida to Dr. Hendricks for this article. I’m glad to know that I have such good brothers/sisters who are challenging others and themselves every day to try to follow TP’s foothpath ….one of the most challenging tasks for any human being.
For many of us in the nascent practice of our faith, we came to an understanding that Divine Principle was like “the rock” that we held on to in order to make sense of God’s providence and our relationship to Heavenly Parent, True Parents and each other. Very few of us had a prior understanding of “the suffering heart of God” or the idea that one of the great “secrets of the universe,” or understanding God in the context of the parent and child relationship. This remains an important aspect of our “internal subjective” reality. I dare say that if the 7.5 billion people in the world comprehended this more fully we’d be well on our way to the salvation/restoration/perfection of everyone! The beauty in our heartistic relationship with God as our Heavenly Parent is rooted in a particular truth that True Parents continually emphasized. They remain unequivocal in that regard.
Roger Scruton (one of my favorite contemporary philosophers) reminds us that in his exegesis on judgment vis-à-vis aesthetics, Kant “situates the aesthetic experience and religious experience side by side” and goes as far as to suggest that it is the aesthetic experience that is “the archetype of revelation.” It could be said that by experiencing beauty via the cultural legacies of the past (or present) we become more conscious of our station in relationship to both God and the natural world, and as well, the true and complete essence of our being is affirmed.
In the Beauty, Truth and Goodness paradigm we understand truth (the word) to be important — an anchor. But when truth is separated from heart (inner beauty), our attempts to foster the Godly relationships will continue to end in futility; the schisms will never be mended and the antagonisms never ameliorated. The “beauty” of DP is that it provides the necessary “truth” to actually realize “goodness” in all of our endeavors. Separation, divisiveness and vilification can never get us to where we really want to be. Joni Mitchell summed it up well:
“We are stardust,
Billion year-old carbon.
We are golden,
Caught in the devil’s bargain,
And we’ve got to get back to the Garden.”
Whether it’s been a billion years or 6,000, getting back to the garden means getting back to to the original paradigm of truth, beauty and goodness as articulated in DP — balanced and integrated, not separated.
The translation of True Father’s words has not gotten any easier given the problem of syntax. Another way of looking at the syntax of language is through sentence diagrams that segment a sentence into constituent parts — subject, verb, object, and P’s — predicates or prepositions. Subject on the left. Verb at the upper point. Object on the right. P’s on the lower position. Rules of logic or accepted correlations between the four positions have to be made for the sentence to have comprehensive meaning. Rules of good faith, logic and reason are used to separate statements of belief, fact and fiction.
We are trying to establish the rule of Principle. Thus, words (dictionary) through the correlation of experience become a unified comprehensive body of knowledge (encyclopedia) through an application of UT two-stage methodology to language. An exploration into a new (re-imagined) method of understanding the words of True Parents, is the UT two-stage development diagram; it links two four-position foundations (diamonds) with a connecting 90 degree right angle (symbolic of vertical/horizontal). This double diamond chain can be repeated several times. UT/DP offers many examples of how this two-step diagram can be used to explain interrelated ideas – inner base and outer base – foundation of faith and foundation of substance concepts as they develop over time and through the eight stages.
I joined the French Unification Movement in 1974 and started departing from it around the end of 1980, beginning 1990. The members I met those years are still my dear brothers and sisters in God. I never met such wonderful people.
I just read Tyler Hendrick’s article about the contradictions that we find in Rev Moon’s huge number of speeches. I found it irrelevant in at least two points.
First, it says that contradictions are normal because in the Bible there are contradictions too. My point is that we cannot compare the Bible written by several authors (dozens indeed) and the work of one single man. It’s normal that we find contradictions in the Bible written by many, but less normal in material written or at least spoken by one individual. Or it ends to say that this man is not different than great thinkers or philosophers who wrote many books which contains sometimes a few contradictions that are bound to happen considering our human nature.
Second is that I find it’s circular reasoning to say that Rev Moon’s words are inevitably true because they comply with the Exposition of the Divine Principle, which is a work also from him.
Could the author or other readers please clarify about this?
I agree that the circular reasoning used is a weak argument, to address the subject of contradictions in True Father’s words.
I wouldn’t say Dr. Hendricks’ article is irrelevant and I really appreciate his efforts to reason why True Father’s words have so many contradictions & how to interpret those contradictions. I agree with Dr. Hendricks that generally applying the worldview & understanding of history that the Divine Principle teaches clears up much of the contradictions True Parents speak. I disagree wholeheartedly though with Dr. Hendricks saying “Father Moon always speaks the Principle.” If Dr. Hendricks thinks True Father was “perfect” in the most common sense, making no mistakes and always acting according to his Original Mind, then I think he and others will have a really hard time reconciling all True Father’s actions.
I do not think True Father or True Mother are “perfect” and definitely subscribe to the realization that True Parents are humans and are Messiahs that made and make mistakes. The contradictions this article speaks about are almost assuredly in part due to True Father having a slip of the tongue or misremembering something, just like all of us do. We Unificationists trying to deify True Parents and saying they “always act according to the Principle” is crazy and repeats the mistakes of so many religions before Unificationism. I hope more people can accept that True Parents tried their best, in my opinion, tried to follow the teachings they taught, but made lots of mistakes that can be reconciled with realizing that they are human, just like you and me.
I understood from the Divine Principle a less rigid understanding that Dr. Hendricks speaks of in this article. And from the Principle, the idea of perfection that I understood was trying to be taught was of a goal all humans should aspire to reach, and in so doing, achieve greatness. I don’t think any of us will ever be “perfect” and make no mistakes, but if we don’t strive to be like that we probably won’t ever come close.
Brian wrote: “If Dr. Hendricks thinks True Father was ‘perfect’ in the most common sense, making no mistakes and always acting according to his Original Mind, then I think he and others will have a really hard time reconciling all True Father’s actions”
– Doesn’t the Divine Principle state than a man who has attained oneness with God can never sin and always follows his original mind, and doesn’t need prayer anymore?
– What then does it really mean that Christians are the most prepared to welcome the “Returning Lord” if their expectations can never be met and God’s plan is wholly different? Was there even the slightest chance that Christian believers could ever accept Rev. and Mrs. Moon as the Second Coming (either in 1945 or today)?
It’s indeed very difficult to make sense out of contradictory statements from Rev. Moon and it’s of course a big challenge for all Unificationists who are trying to explain it. However, none of the following explanations and far-fetched excuses can really be valid and satisfactory:
– Using circular reasoning.
– Saying the Korean language is a such a highly spiritual language that it becomes hermetic and hardly translatable. It’s like saying the less understandable something appears the deeper it is…
– Finding justifications through “slips of the tongue or misremembering something”. Rev Moon used many translators and I understood he had himself read and edited his own speeches in Korean.
– Accepting that messiahs “don’t always act according to their original minds” and recognizing that True Parents tried their best but were inconsistent and “made lots of mistakes”. That’s a wholly new paradigm for their followers and a plain truism for others.
That being said, Ralph Waldo Emerson’s advice to “Hitch our wagon to a star” remains for sure a very healthy and inspiring way to live an exciting life.
I acknowledge your considerable efforts to try to make sense of inconsistent statements made by Rev. Moon.
A few centuries ago, Heaven inspired the French author Boileau to write: “What you understand well, you enunciate clearly and the words to say it are easily found.”
One could then legitimately wonder why God would ever use an ambiguous language like Korean to convey a crystal clear, understandable teaching. How at best will it be possible to go beyond a Korean kingdom?
Besides, aren’t each of the three rival Unificationist factions Korean-speaking?
You wrote: “Principle teaches that God abandons His beloved ones, tempts them, tests them, and even tries to kill them. (p. 227) Therefore, Father Moon at the hands of God went through six or seven deaths and resurrections, and Mrs. Moon endured chastisement from Rev. Moon.”
Is this true because Rev Moon said so or is it again a wrong translation? Doesn’t it rather make God look like an emotionally disturbed being and an unpredictable bully? How to reconcile such a vision with Jesus’ teachings?
Why should Mrs. Moon have had to endure “chastisement from Rev. Moon”? Is it for the same reason Unification Church members also had to endure harsh treatment from Rev. Moon?
It’s now evident that Divine Principle is definitely not a fairy tale but rather a fearful tale.
Sadly, unclear and contradictory statements have resulted in unnecessarily hurting people and chasing away sincere searching souls.
It seems your task is a huge and difficult one. And so is the remarkable task of Dr. Son, who recently mentioned on Applied Unificationism that “It’s time to strategically look after those wounded people in the backyard of our church…”
It might be comforting to consider that God looks at our heart more than our theology…