By Jennifer P. Tanabe
What would a world of perfect people be like? Would you want to live in it? And is it even possible? There are several possible reactions to these questions. Let’s consider some of them from the viewpoint of Unification Thought (UT), which answers them in a positive and encouraging way.
The first possible response to the question of what a world of perfect people would be like is: “How boring to have everyone be the same!” Another, “Impossible, only Jesus can be perfect, the rest of us are only human.” A variation from those who do not believe in God might be, “Impossible, only machines are perfect, human beings always make mistakes.” Yet another reaction, “I can’t imagine it really, but I believe that some time in the future that ideal will come.” Not really a resounding affirmation of the possibility of a world of perfect people and how much we would all want to live in it!
How does UT address the idea of human perfection? To start with, UT does assert that human beings can achieve perfection. So that negates the “only machines are perfect” type of response. Let’s look at the various aspects of human perfection from the UT perspective, where it is discussed under the “Theory of the Original Human Nature.” The essential point is that perfection means fulfilling one’s potential in every aspect.
The second reaction I mentioned, the “impossible, we are only human” one, is easily dealt with by explaining the UT perspective on human nature. A perfect human being is who has grown to maturity. Thus, an adult has become a being with all the attributes of original human nature, namely, a being with Divine Image, Divine Character, and Position (see Figure 1). Divine image and divine character: sounds like we will be like God! But, before you go back to the “impossible” reaction, didn’t Jesus say in Matthew 5:48 that we are to be perfect, like God? So if we take Jesus’ words as well as the pledge offered by all blessed families seriously, being truly human means to become divine, God’s true sons and daughters, and thus to be perfect.
Let’s look at the details of this original human nature. First, a being with Position: the point here is that there are always different positions in any relationship, and the ability to recognize one’s position and to relate to the other person from that position appropriately is essential to harmonious and successful human relationships.
Next, Divine Image. This has three aspects: united Sung Sang and Hyung Sang, harmonious Yang and Yin, and individuality. Briefly, united Sung Sang and Hyung Sang refers to a person whose internal character or values (Sung Sang) take priority over physical desires and material life (Hyung Sang).