By David Burton
An important thread to my spiritual life and time in the Unification Church has been the idea that science and spirituality should come together and work in concert — that there should be one unified worldview, not a worldview splintered and fractured into different parts.
On and off for the last twenty plus years, I’ve been exploring how we can develop a theoretical basis for achieving this unity derived from the ontology of Divine Principle and Unification Thought. In the course of that work, I’ve come to believe that in the 1980s there was a real opportunity for such unity to develop, but something was missing from the mix.
Today, I feel we are again at a point where that unity can be achieved. Alison Wakelin’s recent blog article on this site, “Science, Unification Thought and a Post-Materialist Era,” reports that among scholars in the field there is a growing sense of approaching a paradigm shift.
Here, I briefly address what happened within Unificationism and what I see as the potential of Divine Principle for today.
When I first heard Divine Principle in 1979, I was a graduate student in chemistry and just starting out on my spiritual journey. I was impressed by the respect shown to science and excited by Rev. Sun Myung Moon’s work to bring science and spirituality together.
Perhaps the very first gift from my spiritual mother was a bound copy of the proceedings of the Fourth International Conference on the Unity of the Sciences (ICUS). This respect for science was one of the important reasons for my joining the church. When the Level 4 Divine Principle text came out, it was a major step forward, but it wasn’t until six years later that I got my own copy of the Brown Book.
In the Brown Book, the general introduction is a work of art and should not be overlooked. It sets the stage for the purpose of Divine Principle itself, and the parts related to science deeply resonated with me. From the most recent translation:
Eventually, the way of religion and the way of science should be integrated and their problems resolved in one united undertaking; the two aspects of truth, internal and external, should develop in full consonance. Only then, completely liberated from ignorance and living solely in goodness in accord with the desires of the original mind, will we enjoy eternal happiness. (Exposition of the Divine Principle, p. 3)
In other words, the new culture we are striving for emerges from a true unification of science and spirituality brought together in one undertaking. Divine Principle is positioning itself as the new truth that can be the basis for bringing this unity.
What missions must the new truth fulfill? The new truth should be able to unify knowledge by reconciling the internal truth pursued by religion and the external truth pursued by science. (EDP, p. 7)
I felt like the sailor in the text:
When the sailor who has completed his voyage in search of external truth under the sail of science, adds another sail, the sail of religion, and embarks on a new voyage in search of internal truth, he finally will be headed toward the destination for which his original mind yearns. (EDP, p. 4)
Given the significance of science for the emergence of an ideal world, it should be unsurprising that the first major conference series Rev. Moon established was ICUS. The purpose of these conferences was to create the philosophical basis for a new culture and participate in building the external ideal, that is, to realize the goals for science and spirituality described in the introduction to Divine Principle. What happened?
More than 40 years from my beginning, where do we stand today? The world has gone through many changes since then. At one level, there have been many victories, beginning from the successful end of the world-wide Cain-Abel struggle when the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991 at the end of 40 days of Divine Principle workshops in the Baltic states. My wife and I were there for that. Satan was subjugated in 1999. We held the Coronation Ceremony for the Kingship of God in 2001. We were there for that too. Rev. Moon declared restoration had come to an end in 2004. This sequence of accomplishments cumulated in the completion of the messianic mission, which we celebrated on Foundation Day in 2013 after Rev. Moon’s passing.
These are incredible spiritual victories. We stand in a completely different position today because of them. However, the world is still facing significant problems on many fronts. From environmental issues and climate change, to a troubling rise of authoritarian regimes, mass migration, poverty, and of course a worldwide pandemic. Despite a profound change in our internal reality, our external reality has still to catch up. If there was any time that needed a new truth to dispel ignorance it is right now. Where do we stand on that?
One of the key hallmarks of the new truth, and the basis for new culture, is it dispels ignorance by uniting science and spirituality. So we can use the state of this unity as an indicator of where we stand. That our external reality still faces huge problems without clear solutions suggests we are still far from realizing a true unification of science and spirituality.
ICUS, WRIST, and Unification Thought
The very first ICUS was held in 1972 at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York with only 20 participants. It was centered on the work of Edward Haskell, a synergic scientist and integral thinker. Several members directly worked with Haskell at the time, and according to Glenn Strait, believed they were working on the unified science that Rev. Moon was looking for.
From these humble beginnings the conferences grew in size. At the tenth conference in 1981 the international highway project was announced along with a shift in focus toward more practical solutions to world problems. In 1984 there was an attempt to clarify and renew the internal direction and two themes were articulated: Unity of Knowledge, and Science and Values. Then in 1985 we begin to see the introduction of Unification Thought into the conferences.
This is significant. It is the task of the new truth to bring unity between science and spirituality. If ICUS was to provide the philosophical basis for a new culture, some injection of the new truth was needed in order to bring that unity. Since ICUS was not religious, Unification Thought was more appropriate to include than Divine Principle itself. If the scientists involved had grasped something of this vision to bring science and spirituality together we might be in a different place externally today.
Parallel to this in 1984, at the time of renewing the internal direction of ICUS, Rev. Moon established the World Research Institute for Science and Technology (WRIST). This was also when I finally joined the church after a lot of soul-searching. Three years after this, I was actively recruited by WRIST, but chose instead to go to Unification Theological Seminary.
Then in 1985, Rev. Moon gave WRIST a “homework problem” to develop technology to reliably communicate with the spirit world. If successful this could indeed have changed the world. What better way to demonstrate a unity of science and spirituality than a reliable machine to interact with spirit world. This would also have revitalized ICUS at a time Unification Thought was starting to be introduced. ICUS could have been a platform from which to transform the world.
Unfortunately, neither ICUS nor WRIST lived up to the hope invested in them. Unification Thought did not take with the ICUS scientists, and WRIST never got past a few exploratory papers on the idea of a spirit world machine. There was no developing unity between science and spirituality.
Further, the respect for science within the church, that had been so instrumental to my joining, began to decline. It was replaced by the more general suspicion, even rejection, of science found in some Christian circles. ICUS continued until 2000 but Rev. Moon went on to other things. There was then a 17 year hiatus until Mrs. Hak Ja Han Moon reconvened ICUS in 2017. After years of personal interest, I was finally able to attend an ICUS in person. However the reconvened ICUS was tasked with addressing environmental issues. It had a different focus.
So the task of the new truth remains unfulfilled. In order to move forward, I think it is helpful to look into why neither ICUS nor WRIST succeeded. I believe the two are connected by a common underlying reason.
A Simple Question
Both Unification Thought and WRIST neglected to ask a fundamental question of Divine Principle, one simple to state but not straightforward to answer. The question is: how does Divine Principle reconcile science and spirituality? Another way of approaching this question is to ask: what is it that makes Divine Principle a new truth?
About five years ago, after years of reading Divine Principle, I found the beginnings of an answer hiding in plain sight in the text. I had overlooked its significance for so long because it appears obvious, and hence unimportant. Here is the passage:
For example, subatomic particles, the basic building blocks of all matter, possess either a positive charge, a negative charge or a neutral charge formed by the neutralization of positive and negative constituents. When particles join with each other through the reciprocal relationships of their dual characteristics, they form an atom. Atoms, in turn, display either a positive or a negative valence. When the dual characteristics within one atom enter into reciprocal relationships with those in another atom, they form a molecule. Molecules formed in this manner engage in further reciprocal relationships between their dual characteristics to eventually become nourishment fit for consumption by plants and animals. (EDP, p. 16)
This passage is deceptively simple, which is why we miss it. Today we take it for granted that matter is composed of atoms — everybody knows that now, but it was not always so. For most of Christian history, all the way up to and including Kant, atoms were not among the things that were thought to exist. Rather what was thought to exist were two fundamental substances, spirit and matter, where spirit is a substance that is pure quality. It has no mass or spatial extension and is entirely separate from the substance matter. In human beings our mind or consciousness is spirit and is separate from our body, which is matter. There can be no spirit body in this paradigm.
The most obvious problem for science is this understanding of spirit. By definition it is inaccessible to scientific investigation. Science can neither prove nor disprove its existence. If this definition were true, the “homework” Rev. Moon gave to WRIST would not be possible. Matter, on the other hand, is something science can deal with. It has mass and measurable properties. However even with matter there is an unappreciated conflict with science. Traditionally, matter is something inert and continuous. It is simple. Life, mind, even shape and structure, need to be added to it (by God). Matter composed of atoms is very different to this. Things composed of atoms are complex and contain many particles. Structure and properties, even perhaps life and mind, then emerge from relationships between particles rather than needing to be added from outside.
Traditional Christian ontology is therefore completely incompatible with a scientific worldview. Divine Principle addresses this by changing the underlying explanation of what exists. As we see in the passage above, what exists for Divine Principle are particles. This is what makes it compatible with science. Particles are absent from, and incompatible with, the traditional substances of spirit and matter.
In Divine Principle, each particle has two sets of dual characteristics, and all that we observe to exist in both the physical and spiritual worlds emerges from their reciprocal relationships. Spirit is sungsang, or internal character, but sungsang is a characteristic of a particle. It has no independent existence separate from the hyungsang, or external form, of the particle.
Consequently particles themselves are half spiritual and half physical, and we derive from the text a completely new relational understanding of spirit. The essence of what makes Divine Principle a new truth with the capacity to unite science and spirituality is then a new ontology. It redefines, for religion not science, the meaning of spirit and matter in a way that is continuous with scientific explanation. It goes further than science can currently explain, but seeks first to change religion, our understanding of spirit, rather than change science directly.
Saving Divine Principle
Neither Unification Thought nor WRIST began to address this aspect of Divine Principle. Instead they assumed without question the traditional paradigm of spirit and matter. For me this is the central reason (though perhaps not the only reason) that neither was completely successful. They did not adopt a crucial part of the new truth. ICUS had no chance. Unification Thought did not embody that part of Divine Principle which could have led to a unity between science and spirituality.
What relevance does this have for today? As this was all in the past, over 30 years ago, how does it affect us in the present? It affects us now because the development of our external reality is severely lagging behind the development of our internal reality after the victories of Rev. and Mrs. Moon. We are no closer today to realizing a true unity between science and spirituality than we were in 1972 when ICUS first started. In fact, in many ways we are further from it because of a distrust of science that has crept into the church.
Also the central problem remains the same. Collectively we do not recognize the ability of Divine Principle to unify science and spirituality. Consequently its power to transform the world lies hidden under the weight of an historical paradigm that is in fundamental conflict with science. Without the input of Divine Principle any contemporary worldview that includes both spirituality and science remains schizophrenic at some level.
The task before us remains the same too. In order to transform the world we need to realize the promise of the new truth in Divine Principle to bring an end to ignorance, and for that, as long as there remains a division between science and spirituality, it has not done so. The time is certainly ripe for unity. There is a growing desire to find it. Alison Wakelin’s blog article, cited above, is testimony to that.
The problem, however, is scholars in the field are still laboring under the old paradigm of spirit. Therefore it is highly unlikely they will be able to achieve a paradigm shift that is actually compatible with science. The spark needed to actually initiate fundamental change is derived from chapter one of Divine Principle.♦
Dr. David Burton (UTS Class of 1990) is professor of chemistry at the University of Bridgeport. He holds a Ph.D. in nuclear magnetic resonance from the University of East Anglia, Norwich, England. He and his wife, Kathleen, both graduated in 1990 with an M.Div. from Unification Theological Seminary, and subsequently were campus ministers at Yale University for eight years.
Thanks for making this effort to progress forward toward the lofty aim of “uniting science and religion/spirituality.” Are you familiar with the work of physicist Thomas Campbell? He wrote My Big Toe (2003), a trilogy work unifying philosophy, physics and metaphysics. I believe it could be of help to you in your efforts to demonstrate a non-physical material reality. If you do check it out, I’d be interested to discuss with you.
Thanks Jack. I have heard of the book, but not read it. I am not directly trying to demonstrate a non-physical reality, though. Can Campbell’s theory be tested experimentally?
According to Campbell, yes.
I”d like to dig deeper into your article….
“Despite a profound change in our internal reality, our external reality has still to catch up.”
If significant qualitative changes have been experienced within the “internal reality” you alluded to here (the reality of the Unification worldview interpretation of human progress in conjunction with God’s Providence), we need to measure, in the objective physical reality, corresponding verifiable results. If our measure of objective reality does not coincide with the claim of profound internal change, then I think we need to re-examine whether or not the alleged claim is valid, or not. Or, perhaps, we need to consider what constitutes “internal reality” (spiritual) victories.
If I claim I’ve experienced a qualitative change at the fundamental level of my being (consciousness), those around me will be able to evaluate the validity of such a claim; either I’ve changed or I have not changed. It’s measurable and verifiable, including to myself (providing I’m not being delusional).
Jack, yes, you are right. If our external reality does not match our internal reality, it could well be grounds to reexamine the claims. In that case, what we are left with is our faith and spiritual experience. My personal spiritual experience and faith since Father passed away is that there has indeed been a profound spiritual change, but we have still to grow into that change to manifest it externally.
Two YouTube links showing Campbell discussing his Big Toe Theory of “reality” in relation to Quantum mechanics:
Thank you for the links. Saves me some work. I can see from the first video that Campbell and I wouldn’t get along. Arguments for the role of consciousness in quantum mechanics are a type of “God of the Gaps” argument, or perhaps we could say, a “consciousness of the gaps” argument. They are a derivative of the traditional paradigm of spirit/mind.
These types of theories of consciousness can’t present a true unification of science and spirituality. Mainstream physics could not accept them. I believe Divine Principle is proposing something altogether different that is not in principle a “gaps” argument.
Okay, David. Thanks for taking a look and getting back with me about it.
This is an important topic. One of the reasons that I joined the movement was Rev. Moon’s desire to see the unification of science and religion. I was involved in ICUS since 1975 until its conclusion, and I also believe that the Professors World Peace Academy (PWPA), and The New Ecumenical Research Association (New ERA) were necessary. For we not only needed science to appreciate spirituality and religion, but religion to appreciate the value of science. Then this unified cultural worldview needed to undergird university education. The University of Bridgeport was part of this goal.
I believe the “wokeism” prominent in the university today is a result of the failure to unify science and religion. Unfortunately Critical Race Theory and other “woke” theories, reflect the absence of both science and religion. The rise of narratives based on power like Critical Race Theory are a form of tribal religion that preceded civilization. It is religious, because it is doctrinal and refuses to allow the critical study of itself.
You hinted at this problem of resistance to scientific and critical scrutiny in the Unification Church. This was not the case in early years of ICUS. In 1973, True Father spent more on the ICUS held at the Waldorf Astoria than on the entire budget of the American Church. And, when he started UTS under David Kim’s leadership, the unification of science and religion were part of the project.
However, I do not believe that ICUS or New ERA failed; quite the opposite. They had almost succeeded by 1989 when funding for them was cut. The leading ICUS professors had abandoned their value relativism and accepted much of Rev. Moon’s vision. At a New ERA Seminar in Toronto, the cream of religious scholars in North America all seemed on board. If these projects had continued, I do not believe wokeism would exist today, and certainly not in universities. I am not sure how many members even know of the World University Federation that True Father started with a goal of teaching “parentism” rather than “wokeism” (which can be said what you get in the absence of parentism).
One major reason for this was the financial collapse of the movement in Japan in 1989 and the inability to fund major meetings after that. The reason for that is a story in itself. Secondly, was the rise of new leadership in our movement — people who had joined the church at a young age and never worked jobs in the outside world like David Kim, Young Oon Kim, and Bo Hi Pak had. This new round of leadership was more doctrinal, naive about the world, and unqualified for many positions they were thrust into. They were cynical about the scrutiny of our own doctrines by either the scientific study of our own “religion” (yes, it had become more a religion and less a movement).
I do not know so much about WRIST, although I believe many were trying to create physical machines to communicate with the spirit world based on physical senses like a radio we could hear with our ears. On the other hand the “technology” of the spirit world may involve a spiritual sense, like Buddhism’s technologies of consciousness. The unification of all the senses is also important.
I have attended a few meetings in the past few years where the revival of ICUS and PWPA have been discussed. Several members who witnessed our activities in these areas from 1983-1990 had their hopes raised. But I have seen no genuine church support of the type True Father gave to the genuine pursuit of the unification of science and religion — which requires a willingness to subject our own religious views to scientific criticism in order to integrate universal values that come from inherited cultures with heavenly pursuit of science and peace. This also includes “the science of good government,” which has been of great interest to me, as it was something the American Founders understood, but has not been applied much since they wrote the Constitution.
Gordon, thanks for adding more of the context and background. Yes, all of these other organizations were important too. There are so many ramifications of a true unity of science and spirituality. I do think it will take a critical analysis of our own doctrines.
For about ten years, beginning in 2005, I was part of a group working on the idea of a spirit world machine. We even began some limited experimentation, but with no conclusive results. One consensus that developed in the group was that it would require the active involvement of a medium. However that never really sat well with me. It didn’t seem to quite address the goal for the technology.
What we were lacking was an experimentally testable theory of spirit world. We were working from the traditional understanding of spirit. This is where I now see Divine Principle fitting in. This is because I believe it gives a new understanding of spirit, one that in principle may be amenable to experimental investigation.
Thank you, Dr. Burton, for the thought provocative article.
John 1:1, “In the beginning was the Word. The Word was God…” I interpret it as, “In the beginning was the Truth and God is the source of Truth.”
Since Truth is invisible, as such, the beginning of everything is “Invisibility”.
Divine Principle has the notion that everything is an “Individual Truth Body”. I interpret it as, “Everything is a substantial realization of the Truth of God.”
As there are internal truth, which is religion and external truth, which is science, Divine Principle, in particularly The Principle of Creation, is already the unity of science and religion.
However, perhaps Divine Principle teaching can only be recognised when all scientists have become our Blessed Couples. Perhaps such a day of unity of science and religion is not far away.
Thanks, Kwang Seng. Yes, I agree with you that the Principle of Creation is already the unity of science and spirituality. The question, though is how does it unify the two? For science we need something that can be experimentally tested.
Thank you, David.
ICUS and Unification Thought: Even in 1973 when the first edition of Unification Thought was still being translated in Japan, Reverend Moon was excited about the potential for Unification Thought to be widely accepted by the academic community. It was all set up. The book was being translated in Japan and the second ICUS would meet in Tokyo. Boom. The book would be Reverend Moon’s gift to those eminent scientists.
His vision was that Unification Thought would naturally stand out in the marketplace of ideas and under its own impetus spread throughout academia—after we primed the pump by distributing thousands of copies to academics, starting with those second ICUS participants.
Reverend Moon was sorely disappointed to learn that the first edition was largely incomprehensible to the Western mind. So, through succeeding years we went through the series of new translations of Unification Thought, always hoping that the next edition would be appropriate for sharing with the ICUS participants.
Introducing a committee on Unification Thought into ICUS was a fraught endeavor as the chairmen were extremely wary of anything that might threaten the academic credibility of ICUS. They loved ICUS, yet they were constantly aware of and criticized by colleagues who questioned the scientific credibility of ICUS due to its sponsorship by the Unification movement under the leadership of Reverend Moon.
My view, like David’s, is that Unification Thought never did and still hasn’t achieved any significant academic buy-in. If it had achieved such buy-in, then it would be circulating and spreading in academic circles apart from any promotion by the Unification movement. Lacking such buy-in, Unification Thought is in no position to be a bridge between science and religion or science and spirituality.
For further details on the relation between ICUS and Unification Thought, see “Lessons from Reverend Moon’s New Culture Strategy.”
Perhaps UT’s anthropomorphized version of “Ultimate Oneness,” “Unbounded Manifest,” “Ground of Being,” “God,” etc., poses the highest constraint for most scientists to be more open-minded about “other dimensions of reality” outside of physical material reality. What do you think?
In my view, God is both personal and transpersonal, both parent and divine ground, and UT is deficient in not including the transpersonal aspect in its ontology.
I would agree that of the three aspects of spirituality that I proposed — spirit, soul, and heart — heart as the essence of the personal God would likely pose the greatest challenge to scientists who are open to exploring possibilities for transcending their material-based model of the world.
Based on personal experience and observation, I found it necessary to re-evaluate the DP/UT claim it agrees with a fundamental process of evolution (things grow and develop over time by seeking profitability through a process of trial-error-improvement-responses to varied internal and/or external constraints). The idea this process dramatically devolved (6,000 biblical years ago) by self-aware (self-conscious) human beings in their teenage years, making the free will choice to oppose the will of this fundamental process, being personally directed by the “Big Cheese/God,” as a result the unfortunate influence of a malevolent corrupted angelic being, is a subjective faith claim that cannot be objectively measured by those who do not adopt the set of beliefs necessary to gather “objective” data to support the claim. Perhaps this is one primary reason scholars and scientists found it untenable to adopt UT as a viable philosophical worldview.
Having come to study Wolli Wonbon, it saddens me so to think that Father decided to promote the Principle to scientists with Unification Thought. Wolli Wonbon emphasizes God’s duality of yin and yang, or femininity and masculinity, and hardly mentions sungsang and hyungsang. It emphasize the principle of unity when the two poles join as object partners to each other. In my view, Divine Principle’s formulation of the Principle of Creation, or even better, the formulation in Wolli Wonbon, would be immediately recognized by the scientific world.
But Dr. Lee wrote Unification Thought mainly in conversations with philosophers, probably because he himself had been steeped in Marxism when he was younger. When he wrote Unification Thought, he was dealing with Plato and Aristotle and their conceptions of form and matter. In that milieu, the concepts of plus and minus or yang and yin were merely an afterthought to sungsang and hyungsang.
Science had long since emancipated itself from the thought-world of Aristotle. But our elders, not being aware of that history, thought that Unification Thought would suffice as a bridge to science. If they had only known, they would have looked to the pages of Wolli Wonbon for guidance on how to solve this issue.
Spirit and Matter: Thank you, David. You have simplified your basic argument enough that I can finally begin to grasp it.
If I understand correctly, you say that with DP’s particle-relational model we attribute sungsang, and hence spirit, to the hyungsang external form of the particle, and what we can observe in the spiritual world and the physical world emerges through the particles’ reciprocal relations. And somehow, it seems, you posit that this emergence of new properties through the particle’s interactions does not require input from God, so now science can begin to relate to the model.
1) Isn’t it the Principle of Creation explanation that universal prime force—from God—provides the underlying direction for all those particle interactions through which the new properties emerge?
2) If universal prime force from God is not providing that underlying direction, how has God participated in the creation of the universe?
In terms of spirituality, my view is that the Principle of Creation offers a very limited view of it from three different perspectives, and by taking the POC presentation on the spirit person as representing the whole of spirituality you are mistakenly presuming that with your model you have the key to uniting science and spirituality. You may well be on the right track, but it is not the complete conceptual frame for achieving such a unity.
Three aspects of spirituality:
1) Spirit: We start with the POC teaching about the spirit person associated with each physical person and the spirit person continues to exist after physical death. It is these spirit persons with whom the spirit world machine would intend to communicate.
2) Soul: While POC speaks of a spirit body and a spirit mind, many of the spiritual traditions speak of several different layers of spirit bodies, usually said to have different vibrations. And levels with the highest frequencies of vibration merge into the realm of oneness, the realm of the oneness God, the Divine Ground, the Source. And those higher frequencies, I believe are the realm of the soul, which would also be associated with each spirit person.
3) Heart: POC in DP is not specific about heart. That was added in the Level Four book produced under the direction of Rev. Kwak. In DP, on pp. 101-102, we do find a statement about dominion of love, which refers to “love that flows from God’s heart. God’s providence of restoration… has gradually elevated the spirituality of fallen people toward God.” Also, Unification Thought is explicit and detailed about heart as God’s essence.
Heart is what makes God personal—our Parent, our Mother, our Father. Heart is the essence of spirituality and must somehow be included in any comprehensive work of uniting science and spirituality. I hope that your model, David, can be a step toward the comprehensive unity.
Thanks, Glenn. Lot to potentially respond to here. I will try to be brief. I wouldn’t say I attribute sungsang to hyungsang in a particle. This implies spirit comes from the physical. That is not what I mean at all. They are both inseparable characteristics of a particle. One doesn’t come from the other. The particle is ontologically prior and supports both.
Going beyond what is written in Divine Principle, I believe sungsang is information and hyungsang energy. Spirit world and physical world then both emerge from, and are connected to, the relationships of one set of particles.
Regarding your questions: Is it Universal Prime Force or Universal Prime Energy? Unification Thought says Universal Prime Force. Divine Principle says Universal Prime Energy. The Korean language does not distinguish force and energy and we tend to use the two interchangeably. Yet in physics the two are quite different and would have different roles in a relationship of give and take. There is still work to be done here. We might need both concepts.
Your comment is thought provoking. I don’t have a lot of time to write today, but have an additional thought that might be relevant.
Today knowledge of atoms is common, but we think of them as something that is entirely physical. In the model presented in Divine Principle, however, we find something very different. In Divine Principle each particle has both a characteristic of the spiritual (sungsang) and a characteristic of the physical (hyungsang). Atoms are not entirely physical in this model.
Further, God’s action comes from within the particle. Whether the particle is an atom, a living cell in our body, or a human being. God’s action is not then something imposed from outside the particle. It comes from within.
“God’s action comes from within the particle. Whether the particle is an atom, a living cell in our body, or a human being. God’s action is not then something imposed from outside the particle. It comes from within.”
Can you please elaborate how you envision God’s action as coming from within the particle and how this is implied in DP? By God’s action, what do you mean? Is this a directive purpose internal to each particle? Is the particle immersed in a field? Is God present in such a field, if it exists?
Yes, indeed many of us were attracted to DP because of the aspect of uniting science and religion. Making religion ‘make sense’.
You article is fascinating and raises some challenges, but I want to confine myself to a couple of comments.
You mention spiritual victories such as the subjugation of Satan, the end of the worldwide Cain-Abel struggle, Foundation Day etc and the absence of corresponding physical results. Already your comment that because of these ‘victories’ ‘we stand in a completely different position today’ is problematic because it is an observation based on faith and not on the evidence that a scientist would demand.
A sceptic might say that this is just another example of a religion promising ‘pie in the sky’ whilst ignoring realities on earth.
I wonder if the decline in respect for science within our movement has something to do with the fact that to a large extent our movement has gone off in a direction which has focussed on the ‘spiritual’ (i.e., invisible and unverifiable) rather than solid, verifiable, undeniable restoration of the physical world?
It should at least be open to consideration and discussion as to whether the emphasis on spiritual world victories and liberations has not alienated some of the more evidence-based scientific minds, both within our movement and without.
Does (our) religion still ‘make sense’?
It is not heretical and ‘unfaithful’ to ask if ‘the development of our external reality is severely lagging behind the development of our internal reality after the victories of Rev. and Mrs. Moon’ for reasons other than that UT and WRIST have not addressed the correct aspects of the Divine Principle.
In trying to feel your heart here I am drawn to your sentence “Does (our) religion still ‘make sense’?” That seems connected to the same heart in Jack’s comment, and is something I so often feel from our membership. It is something I too struggled with.
Since Foundation Day in 2013, however, my personal spiritual life has gone through a transformation. Father’s passing was a huge shock. I struggled to come to terms with it. Then on top of that we were faced with the crumbling of Mother-Son cooperation as Hyung Jin Nim went his own way. It felt like we were left at sea without an anchor or a sail. I was just going through the motions with little hope.
Then Mother asked us to pray in the name of Heavenly Parent rather than just Heavenly Father, and opened the way for us to relate to the Divine Feminine. At God’s Coronation in 2001 there were two chairs and two crowns representing God’s position, but the Divine Feminine remained hidden to us. Finding the presence of the Divine Feminine in my life these last few years has transformed my inner world.
The real victory of True Parents for me personally is that they have freed me and God to have a direct personal relationship. I find I don’t need an anchor outside myself after all. My anchor is in God. Because of True Parents that freedom is available to us all, and the Principle of Creation in Divine Principle is still a New Truth.
So yes, we still do make sense, but we have become stuck. Just as I was stuck. If we can’t get unstuck before the first generation passes away, God will still work with the freedom True Parents have wrought.
I really enjoyed your article and the questions posed within. I appreciate your thoughts to try and show that the Divine Principle has a model within it, that could be a framework used to unify science and religion. Thank you, David.
I hope though that you can move past Father’s passing and what I see as faith based in humans, not in God. Even though Father’s passing was shocking to you, and to many older members I feel, and the breakdown of True Mother’s & Hyung Jin’s relationship happened so intensely, I sincerely hope our movement’s members can continue to renew their faith by building a personal relationship with God. It always pains me to hear/see members losing faith or wandering aimlessly for a long time in their life, because of what someone in the church or elsewhere has done. God is our Heavenly Parent I think and wants to support us, despite us feeling lost. I hope you can find that strength in your faith, even if everyone else around you including True Parents falter.
I respect that you have gone through an internal transformation since Foundation Day. But I fail to see what that has to do with unifying religion and science. There are religious or spiritual experiences, and then there are the explanations for such. Science is about reproducible, verifiable explanations for observed phenomena.
Sorry if I misjudged your comment. Yes, these are spiritual experiences without external verification. They are significant to the heart of the problem we face in trying to bring science and spirituality together into one undertaking. There should be external verification of spiritual experience too. Theology in some parts should become amenable to experimental investigation — but we currently lack the theoretical understanding to begin to do so.
Right now we can only have faith that it is possible. That the spirit world machine is possible. However, for me, Divine Principle provides the basis for a way forward. I see in it the possibility to develop a theoretical and potentially testable explanation for spirit world. This is because it embodies a completely different view of what spirit and mind mean to that in traditional theology and philosophy.
I am of the opinion that until now, no scientist has been able to explore the realm of spirituality because science only deals with the physical realm governed by the physical laws while spirituality is governed by the spiritual laws.
According to the Divine Principle’s principles of creation, these two realms coexist and are linked together by the “action of give and take”, which is “love” in this case. Again, this action of “love” cannot be accounted by any scientific means.
Up to the presence moment, the only means to interpret “spirituality” is religion and philosophy.
In the past, science and spirituality existed in a state of conflict for a long time. But our DP’s principles of creation and UT have so far been able to harmonize both of them. Ours is really the Unificationism.
Thanks, David, for your appeal for a revision of the Unification Thought text — as I read between your lines — that it finally may serve as a philosophical basis for the academic community. I appreciate very much the efforts made by UTS graduates through their contributions to the UT symposia, but there is still some work to be done.
Einstein was successful when he pointed out that time and space cannot be treated separately but are two aspects of the same reality he called spacetime. Unification Thought has not yet been successful to explain that spirit and matter should not be treated separately but in a unified way as “spirit-matter”. From this perspective, Divine Principle really builds upon a new ontology and it shows that the dichotomy of science and religion is an ontological problem.
If we try integrating the term information to system information, it could be a basic principle to both spirit and matter. Information itself has two aspects: syntax and semantics, again a dual characteristic if you like. Another dual aspect is potential and actual. I do not stress details to information (and) systems theory. I hope that UT will refer to this type of knowledge at some future time.
I wrote an article for the AU Blog a few years ago, speculating on the origin of existence and God. In it, I speculate that Existence is actually eternal Original Particles and Atoms, that contain all the characteristics of God, i.e.: internal, external, plus and minus, male and female, time and space, consciousness, etc. And that for these particle making atoms to exist, they must necessarily be in harmony and not in conflict with each other, or nothing could exist. Thus, the energy involved in their interaction must be an energy of love. And, as these particles and atoms interacted and created more and more of the same, like atomic explosions, they reached a critical mass, and in the combined consciousness of that mass, God was born. Or, in the words of Rev. Sun Myung Moon,
“…and out of this one seed of love came God. Just as you began as one seed of love from your parents. This one small seed then multiplied. So God was made from one single love cell and from this came the entire universe.” (10/21/90)
I wonder if this in any way resonates with your notions of the DP Principle of Creation.