By John Redmond
Across America, governors, administrators, teachers and parents are sending their children back to school.
A big problem is that the science around preventing the spread of coronavirus is almost completely opposed to the way schools have been designed and run for the last 150 years. When viewed from an epidemiological perspective, “social distancing” and “centralized schools” are almost complete opposites.
This is a perfect time to use the disruption of the Internet and the pandemic to rethink education, from its purpose and desired outcomes to effective use of the new technologies that are quickly becoming universally available. Unification Thought provides a useful framework that can refocus universal education on the skills, abilities and heart necessary for citizens of the 21st century.
The Research Institute for the Integration of World Thought has a great section on the Principles of Education. Several educational philosophies are reviewed and contrasted to Unification Thought.
The ultimate goal of Unification educators is to co-create with the student a person of character and love, a good individual, parent and citizen, and a natural genius. This large and visionary purpose of education is what sets the Unification approach apart from most education policy today.
Education of Heart: Unificationism assumes that human beings have an original nature of love that has to be intentionally and freely cultivated by the parents and the child. This is considered the fundamental goal and foundation of the educational process.
Education of Norm: This is where the student learns how others act and why, and practices the form of relationship that is culturally appropriate. In the best application, children follow role models and learn how to communicate love at many levels.
By Gordon L. Anderson
The bitter partisan divisions in American politics have several roots: political, economic and cultural.
In my 2009 book, Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness, Version 4.0, I explain how a number of the political roots, like viruses, particularly through political parties, have hijacked the political system. The economic roots of the struggle essentially boil down to whether policies support an economy based on production for all (a win-win market economy) or taking from one group and giving it to another (a win-lose, hunter-gatherer economy).
This article focuses on the cultural roots of the struggle, looks at how deconstruction brought a crisis to post-modern thought, and considers whether a “constructivist” approach can overcome that crisis.
Several articles on the Applied Unificationism Blog have sought to understand the evolution of the idea of “truth.” Dr. Keisuke Noda discussed (July 23, 2018) the correspondence theory of truth, coherence theory of truth, pragmatic approach to truth, existential approach to truth, linguistic approach to truth, and an integral approach to truth.
I followed up (March 11, 2019) with a discussion of how our level of consciousness affects the way in which we understand the truth. I showed a cultural development of theological consciousness, metaphysical consciousness and scientific consciousness in the study of scripture and also argued for an integral understanding of scriptural truth (inherited cultural narrative).
The Death of Truth
However, we now find ourselves in a world where a significant part of society considers we are in a “post-truth world.” The April 3, 2017 TIME magazine cover story, “Is Truth Dead?” was a replica of TIME’s “Is God Dead?” cover story from April 8, 1966.
By Lorman Lykes
I am one of the early black members of the Unification Church in America, joining in 1973. But as I reflect on my identity, I am the product of conflicting messages regarding my true value in the United States vs. the guiding light message of hope, love and truth which shaped me in the Unification Movement.
Unfortunately, there were times when I could not distinguish which message was the loudest. After many years in a leadership capacity in the movement, I became inactive, preferring to focus on personal spiritual growth.
However, since 2020 has so far proven to be a transition year for enlightening people in America toward understanding the heart of black people, I feel I must express my opinion. Especially, I want to touch on the intersection of race and the Unification Church. I see this time as an opportunity not only for the racial reconciliation of America but also for the fulfillment of Rev. Sun Myung Moon’s vision for this country.
I begin with a statement many are familiar with by Father Moon. When asked in a 1976 interview who was the greatest American leader of the 20th century, he answered: Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. What was the justification for such praise? His wife, Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, speaking at the 1985 acceptance speech for Rev. Moon’s honorary doctorate presentation, noted, “At a time when many oppressed people wanted to return hate for hate, Dr. King said, ‘We must return love for hate.’” This was a momentous occasion because it was a Historical Black College that bestowed the honorary doctorate upon Rev. Moon — Shaw Divinity School.
Was it a coincidence that the founder of the international Unification Movement, the embodiment of love for all people, received his honorary degree from a black college founded by ex-slaves? I think not. Black people have had to overcome hate, fear and suffering to learn the lessons of true love, so it foreshadowed things to come.
By John Redmond
Everyone has some blind beliefs about the nature of existence. They will swear that their ideas are well-reasoned, tempered by experience and fully rational — but they are not.
This is due to the fact we do not cause ourselves to come into being. We can never be fully sure that our suppositions about where we came from and what our purpose might be are correct. Most people seize on a likely explanation or adopt their family framework and get on with the business of day-to-day living.
The unusual ones search out the larger truths and struggle to understand the patterns that underlie their assumptions. Based on those assumptions, every human, even non-religious ones, “act in faith.” They make decisions and act as if their concepts are true and blindly hope they are. Even existentialists, proud deniers of doctrine and belief, cling to a first principle of absurdity.
Historically, humans worshipped the sun or nature because of the power those things had over one’s continued existence. As civilizations developed and the forces of nature were tamed, the elite of most societies sought to develop more sophisticated and well-rounded explanations of how things actually were and then what to do about them. They made ontological assumptions.
Much of the conflict in society today comes from people with opposing ontologies, both conscious and unconscious.
Ontology is the philosophical field revolving around the study of the nature of reality (all that is or exists), and the different entities and categories within reality. All ontologies are hypothetical. They are a good guess about how things really work and what is behind them. The way these hypotheses are tested for accuracy is by history. As generations of humans live based on the assumptions of their ontology, they develop all the other philosophical practices based on those primary assumptions. They also test these for efficacy over time.
By Tyler Hendricks
Soon after the ascension of her husband, Rev. Sun Myung Moon (for Unificationists, Father Moon), Dr. Hak Ja Han (Mother Moon) said that God is Hanul Bumo, Korean for Heavenly Parent(s). She thus upended 2,000 years of Christian understanding as well as the normative understanding of her own movement.
Some criticized her pronouncement and used it to justify rebellion. None of those people, to my knowledge, provided a meaningful theological basis for the rejection of Heavenly Parent.
Happily, others, including Dr. Ye Jin Moon and Dr. Andrew Wilson, developed meaningful theological reflections on God as Heavenly Parent. In 2013, I published on this blog an inquiry on the subject, and I appreciate the responses to it from both Dr. Moon and Dr. Wilson. Since then, I’ve continued my exploration into the idea of God as Heavenly Parent.
My purpose here is to show that the doctrine of God’s dual characteristics in Exposition of the Divine Principle (henceforth, Exposition) supports Mother Moon’s appellation of God as Heavenly Parent.
The Ontological God and Economic God
I begin with an important distinction. I will be talking about the dual characteristics in terms of the beginning of creation, the God beyond time and space, which I term the ontological God. God in relationship to time and space is the economic God. I derive these terms from the Christian theological categories applied to the Trinity. There is the ontological Trinity, God outside time and space, and the economic Trinity, God in relation to time and space. The subject of this article is Exposition’s teachings on the ontological God, which it calls “the causal reality.” (p. 15)
By Kathleen Burton
Why does Divine Principle place little emphasis on the topic of angels, yet our lives, in restoration history in what is now Heavenly Parent’s Holy Community, are based on the failure of a human/angelic relationship?
Furthermore, the Principle of Creation gives no guidelines for ideal interactions between the two worlds. True Mother (Mrs. Hak Ja Han) expects Heavenly Parent’s Holy Community to be the harbinger of world peace and God’s ideal, yet the contingency of that reality must manifest not only in our human world but in the angelic one as well.
This is God’s Original Design. We are not meant to have all the answers, yet Heavenly Parent does not usually use divine revelation in these matters. True Father had to work hard to understand the Fall. The same is expected of us. In a post-Foundation Day reality, we must work hard to ask the questions that lead to the “what should have been” in the first human/angelic relationship.
One reality is we do not have an even playing field. First, there are no experts on angels. Second, our Western membership has a great advantage with a Judeo-Christian foundation of over 300 references to angels in the Bible. Nora Spurgin’s Circles of Angels remains untranslated, hence unavailable especially to our Asian membership.
Here, I examine the Christian tradition’s scholarship on angels as a base from which to work. I then compare it to the base of human growth in Divine Principle. If we were originally created to work together there must be a model. We begin to explore that possibility.
Christian tradition developed “The Celestial Hierarchy” of the angelic world. After my exploratory research, there emerged a relationship between this nine-level hierarchy and the nine levels of human growth from the Principle of Creation. Let’s look at each briefly and then consider this relationship.
By Robert Duffy
In taking online courses offered by Unification Theological Seminary in the past nine months, my amazement at the theological power of the Divine Principle has been renewed.
In the early 1970s, I was a DP lecturer at the International Training Center at the Belvedere Estate, north of New York City, and had the privilege to lecture many of the state leaders and others who went on to become international foreign missionaries in 1975.
At that time, under Rev. Sun Myung Moon’s personal direction, we lectured the DP almost verbatim, but from memory, not from notes, and the most important feature of our lectures was indeed the emotional and intellectual balance in our presentations, much like exists in the DP itself. Passion and logic were close friends in those lectures.
Is UTS turning out theologically-trained pastors and ministers of the Word who are able to engage with their Episcopal, Methodist and Roman Catholic counterparts in an informed and cogent way? Are there any Doctors of Theology or of the History of Christian Thought in our camp who can lead the way in helping to bridge the current chasm between mainstream Christianity and Unificationism? Is there a possibility of reviving the incredible excitement generated in an earlier period when UTS hosted theological conferences that challenged and inspired theological discourse in the time after the “Death of God”?
As I see it, our principal issue as Unificationists with regard to our Christian friends is that we don’t know how to adequately respond to the centrally-held tenets of Christianity:
By Claude A. Perrottet
This recent article, “Why Does True Mother Call Herself the Only Begotten Daughter?” by Andrew Wilson suggests that True Mother has chosen to lower herself by taking on the title of Only Begotten Daughter in reaction to failure and opposition.
While acknowledging the many insights of this factual article, I submit that True Mother (Mrs. Hak Ja Han) has not lowered herself at all, but promotes this view much in line with her role as the first woman in history to fulfill the purpose of creation. Being humble, at least here, does not mean lowering oneself.
It is undoubtedly true that True Mother had no choice but to engage in a sustained effort to create a foundation for herself, just as Jesus and later True Father had been forced to do. And it is obviously true that True Mother had to start her lonely course under circumstances that were not the ones she or anyone would have hoped for (an understatement).
True Father was entirely victorious, but he was largely deprived of the fruits of his victory, and so were God and humankind. In True Family and our movement at large, fractures had begun to appear even before True Father passed on to spirit world.
I never had any doubts about the status of True Mother before, during, or after True Father’s ascension, and believe I am part of an overwhelming majority on this point. However, when we first heard the expression “Only Begotten Daughter,” several thoughts came to mind.
By Laurent Ladouce
Reverend Sun Myung Moon was born one hundred years ago in 1920. He was certainly the most global leader to come from Korea.
During his life, he built a universal movement, which gained worldwide attention in a very short period. Most observers were puzzled to see that a religious leader could conduct activities in strategic sectors so quickly and efficiently. Reverend Moon often claimed to be a very versatile person and that he had fought to achieve his mission with an extreme sense of urgency.
This versatility and velocity make him a model of a spiritual virtuoso, a concept first coined by German sociologist Max Weber.
First of all, what is virtuosity?
Having outstanding musical technique in the mastery of one or several instruments is called virtuosity. The virtuoso can play complex compositions with dexterity, velocity and mastery.
Bach, Mozart and Beethoven were geniuses in composition as well as virtuoso instrumentalists. When a genius composes profound music and plays it in a virtuosic manner, the audience receives this as sublime beauty.
In classical music, virtuosity is enhanced by live performances in concerts. With the strong communion and support from the conductor and public, the virtuoso may look possessed, as if in a trance.
A devout believer may be disturbed by the Weberian concept of spiritual virtuosity. Virtuosity belongs to the world of the arts, and it procures sensual pleasure and aesthetic stimulation, whereas spirituality aims at elevating and purifying the soul. Moreover, even in the world of the arts, virtuosity is sometimes looked down upon as being vain, self-aggrandizing and narcissistic.