East Meets West Via the Arts

By David Eaton

Beauty has a transcendent aspect and whether we experience beauty through nature, or art, or through human relationships, we can be uplifted by beauty and attain a deeper relationship with our Heavenly Parent and with each other as brothers and sisters. In this sense the aesthetic beauty of art in general, and music in particular, can be considered religious.

Regarding the true spirit of artistic creativity, we read in Cheon Seong Gyeong, Book 10, Ch. 3:

The ultimate goal of artists, and those who work with the arts, is to reach the world of God’s heart … God’s ideal of creation for the created world arose from that heart. The starting point of art is the desire to represent that heart.

Accordingly, in the world of art there are no national boundaries. The purpose of art is not to serve as a tool of an ideology or an agenda. Its fundamental principles are harmony and unity. Divisiveness and conflict are fruits of fallen nature. Therefore the world of art demonstrates universal characteristics in all directions, bringing the East to understand the West and the West to accept the East.

Rev. Sun Myung Moon often said that “music and religion go hand in hand.” The word “religion” stems from the Latin ligare, which means “to bind.” Religion, then, is a process or method by which we can “re-bind” to God. Implicit in this explanation is the idea that at one point God and humankind were not separated and religion became a way to “re-bind” Heavenly Parent with the children who were separated due to the human fall.

Scripture also reminds us that all creation “groans in travail” awaiting the revealing of the children of God and the redemption of our bodies (Rom. 8:19-23). Attaining the Three Blessings and going the way of restoration is the means by which we can “re-bind” with Heavenly Parent and bring the creative process out of Lucifer’s domain and back to its rightful and godly position and purpose. Because Lucifer usurped creativity’s true purpose in Eden by way of false love, many artists have been similarly seduced by false attitudes regarding their creative gifts, and this has resulted in immorality, self-aggrandizement and selfishness in the artistic sphere for thousands of years. Rev. Moon often mentioned these pitfalls in various meetings with artists.

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