True Family Values
Joong Hyun Pak and Andrew Wilson
Chapter I - Partners With Christ In Establishing Gods Kingdom [Part 2]
Self-Love and the Conscience
Love begins from the individual and expands to relationships in the family, society, nation, world and cosmos. Therefore, the first arena for the expression of true love is the individual. Do I love myself? The starting-point in loving myself is to know who I am. I am a child of God. I am dearly loved by God. I have cosmic value, for my essential, spirit self is divine. I am eternal, indestructible, and have nothing to fear. Unfortunately, most people have forgotten who they are. Human beings have been conditioned by centuries of ignorance and satanic accusation to feel limited, weak, unworthy and unloved. They fear death, failure, and rejection. This is one of Satan's oldest ploys.
When we make a mistake, do we run away and hide from God as Adam did in the Garden of Eden? Adam could not bear Lucifer's accusation which flooded his mind, convincing him that he was unworthy of God's love. If he had only stepped out from behind the bushes and run to God with tears of repentance, that could have been a condition for his restoration. Lucifer's angelic heart is that of a servant whose existence depends on giving proper service to his master. But Adam, had he run to meet his Heavenly Father, would have been expressing the heart of God's true son, whose connection to God is in the blood and not contingent upon success in a task or work. God wants to implant the heart of children in us. Therefore, He sent Jesus to save us while we were yet sinners, and inspired Paul to teach us that salvation is "the gift of God, not because of works, lest any man should boast." (Eph. 2:9) Through our Christian foundation we know God's unconditional love for us. Beyond success or failure, victory or defeat, we are His dear children.
It is worth reflecting: am I following God in fear and trembling, fearful of His wrath? Certainly, there are some mistakes that are truly fearful, tantamount to the Fall. But if I believe that I must give perfect obedience and achieve great results in order to somehow prove myself to God, then even a minor failure can become the occasion for a crisis of faith. Such struggles arise because I do not yet know the Father's enduring love for me. Has He not been searching for me for 6,000 years while enduring endless betrayals? A mistake on my part may stir up pangs of guilt and self-accusation, but it cannot deter the Father's boundless love.
Loving myself means to open my heart to the full joy of God's love for me. In the warmth of God's love there is peace, life, acceptance and success. God wants us to experience His love so we can discover our true selves. We should find that place of inner peace and love every day through our prayer and meditation. From that point we can begin to work on ourselves to learn the lessons we need for loving others.
The second step in loving myself is to exert myself to realize my potential as a person who is capable of truly loving others. This means subjecting the flesh to the discipline of the mind and learning to live by my conscience.
If Adam and Eve had not fallen, it would have been normal for their minds and bodies to have been one, just as God is one. Due to the fall, the body emerged as another positive, which was opposed to the positive of the conscience which relates to God. The repulsion between these two positives led to a history of struggle ...
The body became the base of operation for hell, and the conscience became the base of operation for heaven. Man did not know that he contained, within himself, the struggle between two worlds. From this perspective, we all should ask ourselves if our body leads our mind or our mind leads our body ...
To strengthen the power of the conscience, we must dominate the body. We must liberate our conscience, so that it can lead the body by our will. We can then return to the bosom of God's love.
If we ask what religion should do, the answer is that it should motivate our body to do everything it hates to do. What does the body hate most? To fast! To serve! To sacrifice! Religion asks us to be an offering. The offering is destined to shed blood; it must be capable of sacrificing its life ... If we win over the flesh and liberate our conscience, we will go to heaven.14
Our body, which seeks above all to satisfy the senses, has had the upper hand, dominating the conscience which seeks to live a public life. Hence, though we know in our innermost heart that we should live sacrificially and serve others, we typically seek the easy life of having others serve us. This reversal of dominion began with the Fall, when Eve spurned God's commandment to not eat (the way of truth sought by her conscience) and preferred to enjoy the stimulation of the Archangel's love. When Eve met Adam, she justified her lust as a way of coming back to her original spouse. Ever since, what we have thought of as love has masked the selfish desires of the flesh to use our partner as an object of gratification. This is false love.
True love exists in harmony with the desire of the conscience to do good. When our elders call us to witness and serve the larger world, they stimulate our conscience to the highest pitch. By faithfully following the public direction, we strengthen our conscience. Our body protests; we'd rather stay home and be with the family; but that should show us the extent to which our family life is still occupied by false love. As they say, "No pain, no gain." However, when we return home and meet our spouse after working hard in a public position with a clear conscience, our love can be truly free and pure. God eagerly fills such a loving couple with true love.
When there arises a problem in love, before I accuse my partner I need to examine myself. I delude myself when I think that I can enjoy true love if only I could find just the right person. No matter who she may be, sooner or later my wife will notice and criticize me if my heart is not pure. Rather than expecting her to love me unconditionally, I should examine whether my love meets the standard of my conscience and work to make it so.
The Family that Seeks its Original Homeland
It is sometimes said that the family is the only institution ordained by God. It was so from the beginning of creation, when God gave Eve to Adam to be his wife and helper. (Gen. 2:18) Other institutions, such as church and priesthood, arose much later during the course of the providence of restoration. As for kingship, it was founded by satanic nations; even in the case of Israel's kings, the prophets frequently questioned whether they were in fact set up by God. (Hos. 8:4) But the family is God's original institution for human beings, the setting in which they are to grow in love and fulfill their purpose of life.
Nevertheless, God did not create Adam and Eve by themselves. He created them in the midst of Eden, a beautiful garden where they were always to feel at home. Adam and Eve's family was to blossom in a world which would reflect their love. It would display their family's peace, harmony and happiness through its beautiful flowers, abundant fruits, and the peaceful concord of its animals. The Garden of Eden was to be our original homeland, manifesting in its beauty the love in our hearts. When Adam and Eve fell, they were expelled from the Garden of Eden. Therefore, we must seek our original homeland once again.15
Thus, the true love which begins in an individual and manifests in the family is meant to shed its beneficent rays upon the surrounding environment. A loving family is a positive influence on the community in which it lives. The love which induces parents to have compassion on their own children should mature into compassion for other people's children. The love which harmonizes quarreling brothers should mature into active peacemaking, resolving the social and political conflicts of the community. In this regard, the great Chinese philosopher Mencius taught, "The Empire has its basis in the state, the state in the family, and the family in one's own self."16 Mencius spoke of the natural foundation for social life as the compassion within each individual that goes beyond the family, giving the example of a bystander who sees a child fall into a deep well. It is human nature that his heart starts to race and he drops everything to run and save the child. This is "the heart that when they see another man suffer, they suffer too."17 Such an outpouring of heart was in evidence when several years ago a two-year old baby girl fell down a well in Texas. All of America watched breathlessly as volunteer crews arrived at the well. Gifts and letters were showered upon the parents, and the entire nation breathed a sigh of relief when the child was rescued.
We sometimes think of "family values" as placing one's family above all else. But true love by nature has no such limits. It does not stop at the family, but expands to fill the community, nation and world. We can liken the spread of true love to the workings of a slide projector. True love is the light which shines through the lens of the family onto the projection screen of the world. The lens controls the focus; hence the condition of the family is most crucial for whether the larger society-the image on the screen-is clear and full of vibrant color. Families centering on true love will form a society of true love.
Families witness to their true love by benefiting the public good. Through selfless love, service and teaching, they become the spiritual leaders of the community in whose midst they dwell. From one family living for the sake of others, all families will live for the sake of others. Whatever sacrifice that individual family makes to love the other families in the community will be returned many-fold in an ever-expanding circle of love. There it can rest, having found its true home.
For Adam and Eve, their original homeland was the proverbial Garden of Eden. For each of our families, our original homeland has a more concrete meaning: our hometowns. The Garden of Eden was the place where Adam and Eve were born and given the original promise of God's blessing. Yet it was also the place where Lucifer corrupted their love, life and lineage. It was both the limited locale where Adam and Eve lived and the entire world which was to be the home for their descendants as they fulfilled God's blessing to multiply and fill the earth. (Gen. 1:28) For us, our original homeland is where we must restore love, life and lineage and renew the promise of God's blessing. It consists of both the hometown where we were born and the ideal of God's Kingdom which we are collectively called to establish on earth. We fulfill our partnership with Christ as in our individual hometowns, and collectively add to the fullness of the Kingdom. Rev. Moon calls families which take up this partnership with Christ, tribal messiahs.
Tribal Messiahship in Our Hometown
When reciting the words seek our original homeland, we should know that it means to restore our hometown. Our hometown means both the place where we were born and our relatives, the members of our clan. Secondarily, it signifies our neighbors and the community where we presently live. Since we are raising our children there, the place where we live is our children's hometown, and we can regard it as our own hometown by extension. By transforming our hometown as partners with Christ and tribal messiahs, we can recover our original homeland.
In seeking our homeland we begin the journey as outcasts from the Garden of Eden, strangers in a land of thorns and hostility. We arrive in our hometown to find its sentiment worldly and corrupt; its values compromised by the people's evil habits; its smiles concealing dark secrets. Our family's lineage extending through the generations has piled up countless sins and crimes: murders, thievery and betrayals. Many of our ancestors went to their graves with festering resentments, dashed hopes and broken hearts. Hard labor is required to plow this barren land, turn under its thorny weeds, and make it fit to cultivate people of love and goodness. Gradually as the root of goodness is recovered and revived in each of its inhabitants, our hometown can become the original homeland for which we seek.
Jacob is an example of someone who sought with all his strength to recover his original homeland. Despite the prosperity and wealth he gained in Haran, he could not rest until he had reconciled with his brother and returned to the land of his birth. From Jacob we also draw the lesson that we cannot feel welcome in our hometown until we meet our family's hostility and win them with a loving heart and practical wisdom. Jesus said, "If you had faith as a grain of mustard seed, you could say to this sycamore tree, `be uprooted and be planted in the sea,' and it would obey you." (Luke 17:6) We can understand this parable to affirm that with even small faith, we will be able to uproot our family from its satanic lineage and replant it in the lineage of God.
To seek our original homeland has three aspects. First, it is restoring our ancestors. Second, it is restoring our hometown, meaning the land and environment. Third, it is sanctifying the community for God to dwell with human beings in the fullest sense.
Every family needs the support of its ancestors. Otherwise it is alone, without any spiritual foundation. We do not worship ancestors; rather, we long to save them and bring them into the heavenly realm of God's love. Good fortune and abundant prosperity come to a family that has the support of the rest of its clan. That family can go forward to work at higher levels.
We can restore our ancestors through restoring our parents and other living relatives. When we first chose to follow the spiritual path, some of them may have persecuted us. Similarly the Jewish people of Jesus' day, who were so attached to the ways of the old age, opposed Jesus when he came with a new message to inaugurate the new age. Even though our parents love us dearly, we have become different people to them. Our spirits have been elevated and do not easily harmonize with their lower vibration; hence, they may feel some estrangement. Their negative energy is strengthened all the more by generations of ancestors who stand behind them, many of them even more obstinately attached to the old age than they would be if left alone. The way to restore these ancestors is through loving our parents and relatives. More than any spiritual conditions we might do for our ancestors, healing the hearts of our parents and living relatives and bringing them to salvation brings our ancestors immediate benefit. As will be explained further in connection with the fifth pledge, they are with us in spirit as we perform the good deeds which restore the sins of the past. (Resurrection 2.3.1)18
Our hometown where we grew up is the place where our family has a deep emotional connection. Our family has long attachments to houses and property and to where they work and shop and play and go to school. These attachments have been infused with their fallen love and fallen consciousness. As long as our hometown remains unrestored, then the environment where we live will be the same way. We continue to live as strangers, always threatened by negativity in the immediate environment. However, once we restore our father and mother and sisters and brothers, the places to which they are attached can be restored as well. From that point, we begin to feel ownership over our community. We work to make it a supportive environment in which to raise our children. By our service, leadership and exemplary life, the entire community can be transformed.
The tribal messiahship is completed when we dwell in a loving community. Although our family may be graced with true love, it should not remain isolated in a hostile world. The family that has not fulfilled its responsibility to its community remains vulnerable to negativity from relatives and neighbors, from the spirit world and from the environment. It does not enjoy the protection of the universe. God, who has been isolated and alone for millennia, does not want a world of isolated families. God's world is a global community of families, united in heart and love. The Book of Revelation describes the dwelling of God with men in the vision of a New Jerusalem. (Rev. 21:3) The New Jerusalem is a city, including families, communities, tradition and property. All this can be achieved when, as partners with Christ, we love and serve our communities as tribal messiahs.
We can fulfill tribal messiahship even if we do not live in our hometown. Whatever we accomplish will still redound to the benefit of our clan. We can love our enemy's children more than our own children. By loving and serving our neighbors wherever we live, in our "Cain" hometown, we are also benefiting our relatives and clan living in our "Abel" hometown. Many families have been called to some public mission away from their hometowns. Nevertheless, it has been a common experience that when those who make a good foundation in their adopted communities return home to visit their families, the restoration work can progress in leaps and bounds.
The Original Ideal of Creation
The goal of the first pledge is to establish the original ideal of creation, the Kingdom of God on earth and in heaven. Jesus proclaimed the coming Kingdom of God on earth and called his followers to further its progress. Through the work of the Holy Spirit, he has been guiding humankind to lay the foundations of the Kingdom. The people of Jesus' day knew from Scripture that the promised Kingdom would be an ideal society, a world of peace and profound happiness. (Isa. 9:6-7) At Jesus' coming, angels gave hopeful words of the Kingdom's dawning: "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will to men." (Luke 2:14)
There have been various dreams of an ideal world, utopian visions which have caught people's imagination. We recently witnessed the fall of communism, a strong delusion that sacrificed millions of lives in the vain pursuit of a utopia based on economic equality. Today in America we enjoy unparalleled prosperity, freedom and democracy, yet despite these blessings our society is plainly in decay. The basis for a peaceful and prosperous society evidently lies elsewhere, in something more fundamental.
The Kingdom of God is the original ideal, meaning, according to Dr. Sang Hun Lee, the ideal that is founded in God's heart and love. Fallen humanity, bereft of its connection to God's heart and love, could only find vestiges of that ideal, seen "in a mirror dimly." (1 Cor. 13:12) Yet it is still our original nature to dream. People motivated by utopian ideals, both religious and secular, cannot accept the status quo. They are society's visionaries, gadflies and revolutionaries who spur social progress. America was founded by Puritans who could not bear life in England with its oppressive strictures of the church and aristocracy; they dreamed of a Christian commonwealth, a "city on a hill" in the New World. The French Revolution, and subsequent revolutions throughout Europe to overthrow corrupt and oppressive monarchies, were fueled by the idealism that proclaimed "liberty, equality and fraternity" as the natural state of human life. Humanity's yearning for the Kingdom of God lies at the root of every social achievement since the seventeenth century: democracy, human rights, civil rights, women's equality, and the guarantee of social welfare.
However, despite these efforts to build an ideal society, reality falls short of our dreams. The French Revolution brought on the bloody reign of terror and ended in dictatorship. American democracy permitted slavery and allowed racism. Its ideal of freedom is being perverted into license to indulge in immorality. Its democracy is degenerating into ugly partisanship, while the gap between rich and poor widens. We attribute the source of these problems to the lack of a sufficient spiritual foundation. The key to building a more perfect society ultimately lies in elevating the spiritual and moral life of its citizens. Ultimately, the original ideal of creation is achieved when everyone is connected to the true love and heart of God.
The love of God, particularly as expressed through the Holy Spirit who embodies the motherly, feminine aspect of God, is sufficient to embrace all her quarreling children and join them in harmony. The Church is the Bride of Christ. Were the Church perfectly one, the world would already be at peace; but we see the Church fragmented and riven by politics, damaged even to the point of opposing the work of God. The Church must be restored, that it may elevate all families to join in oneness with the heart of God the Father, spreading peace and harmony everywhere.
Once the world's families are connected with the heart of God, they will naturally care for one another and help the less fortunate. They will be filled with compassion for the poor and the suffering of the earth because they are one with the heart of God, whose love extends to all His children. Living in true love, and knowing clearly good from evil, they will reject the corruption and decadence of the present society and promote a wholesome culture supportive of the values of purity, selflessness and service. This conversion of heart will provide the foundation upon which to elevate today's democratic society to a higher stage: God's original ideal of creation, the Kingdom of God on earth. More detailed descriptions of this ideal follow later in the fourth and seventh pledges.
Partners with Christ to Establish the Kingdom of God
The word establish (ch'anggonhada) means to create something that has never existed before. The Kingdom of God is not something that already exists on earth as a seed. It does not exist even in heaven, except as an idea and a hope in the mind of God. It is something entirely new, which must be established by our efforts.
Despite the Bible's image of the New Jerusalem floating down from heaven, we know that the Kingdom of God will not descend out of the sky. Jesus will not come on the clouds with the sound of trumpets and, Presto! bring in the Kingdom. By the same token, the Kingdom of God will not suddenly and automatically appear when the President of the United States, or the President of Korea, receives the True Parents and obeys their teaching. Seventeen hundred years ago, Jesus appeared to the Emperor Constantine and moved his heart to accept Christianity. Nevertheless, the Roman Empire did not suddenly turn into the Kingdom. Instead it continued to decline, and a century-and-a-half later it passed away. Meanwhile, the Church grew slowly through the efforts of individual Christians to spread the gospel. The people were transformed one by one as they received Jesus Christ into their hearts. Likewise, today the Kingdom of God will be built as families receive the Blessing and center their lives on true love, one family at a time. Families centering on true love provide the needed leaven to bring harmony and unity to the society, nation and world. They will lead the way for their communities and nations to follow.
Each of us shares in the messianic mission to build the Kingdom of God. We take responsibility to build God's Kingdom in our clans and communities, while the True Parents take the global responsibility. Since the Kingdom of God must be built in each family, clan and neighborhood, it stands to reason that the True Parents cannot accomplish the task all by themselves. God needs the cooperation of thousands and millions of families working to lift up their communities. We should examine our faith and check whether we still believe in our heart of hearts, despite the teachings of the Principle, that the True Parents will do everything for us. If so, it may be that we still mistakenly believe the old Christian notion that the Kingdom will come on the clouds, and are blind to our responsibility.
Indeed, our responsibility as tribal messiahs to seek our original homeland in our hometowns and the responsibility of the True Parents to establish the Kingdom of God on earth and in heaven are inseparably linked. Our original homeland may be limited to a small locale, but it has cosmic significance; just as the Garden of Eden was a small place which had the significance of the entire face of the earth. Therefore, Rev. Moon defines the criteria of success in tribal messiahship in terms of the larger cosmos-160 families, representing the 160 nations of the world.19 The similar form for these two conditions establishes a profound and cosmic resonance between the tribal messiah working for the salvation of his 160 families and the True Parents' work to restore 160 nations. As we lift up our communities, we provide spiritual impetus to their worldwide ministry. Indeed, as will be discussed in more detail below, the successful tribal messiah is the fullest embodiment of the True Parents, best able to assist them in spreading God's blessings to the world. All too often, however, the True Parents are ahead of us, fulfilling on the worldwide level despite our lack of accomplishment. We then become a burden they must carry on their backs.
Jesus first called us to be his partners when he said to Peter, "feed my lambs" John 21:15-19), and told his disciples to take up the cross and follow him. (Matt. 16:24) Paul described himself and his fellow Christians as "ambassadors for Christ, making his appeal through us" who are "working together with him." (2 Cor. 5:20; 6:1) God has never wanted a huge gap to open between Jesus and his followers, compromised by sin. God wants all Christians to be partners and co-workers with Christ to build the world of His ideal.
Did not God endow Jesus with great power and love? Jesus' love has moved the hearts of billions of people on the earth. We can tap into this very power and love as we love, serve and raise up our families and clans as partners with Christ. Peter and the other disciples of Jesus recognized how unworthy they were. Yet they gave their lives to fulfill the Lord's commission to them. If we work with that same level of intensity, we, too, we will receive crowns of glory.
The Kingdom of God in Heaven
Jesus taught us to pray, "Thy kingdom come, on earth as it is in heaven." The spirit world already operates according to divine law. Its atmosphere is love, giving sustenance to people who live a life of love. When a person's life on earth ends and he enters the spirit world, he may find its ways quite unfamiliar. If used to a selfish and materialistic life while on earth, he will suddenly find himself quite at a loss and unprepared to live a life of unselfish love. His ability to love being undeveloped, he will be handicapped and unable to enjoy the love that could be had. He will come to feel great remorse over his wasted life. In Christian terms, we say that he ends up in hell. Nevertheless, the loving God has no desire to see any of His children suffer eternal damnation and provides a way, however difficult, for such unfortunates to return to earth and resolve their past. Only during our earthly life do we have an opportunity to grow our character and our love.
Jesus left the keys to the Kingdom with Peter, a man on the earth, and said, "Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven." (Matt 16:19) The inhabitants of the spirit world are limited to the level of spiritual evolution attained on earth. Once families realize true love on earth, they will bring that love to the spirit world and live eternally in love there. As society on earth elevates and transforms into the kingdom of God, a parallel society will develop in the spirit world-the kingdom of God in heaven. A discussion of the geography of the spirit world and the way to liberate its inhabitants will follow in the fifth pledge.
True love, by its very nature, expands ever outward toward the whole. Serving the larger community should unfold as a natural dimension of true family life. Love first blossoms in our own family. As we are filled with Christ's transfiguring love, we want to share it with others. The service of a single public-minded family can transform many people's lives. In the Kingdom of God, all families will be public minded and caring for the welfare of their relatives and neighbors. Through mutual uplift, the entire society will prosper. As more and more families cultivate true love and serve their communities, the movement of true love will expand, transforming the world and the entire cosmos into the Kingdom of God.
1. Joong Hyun Pak, Joymakers (New York: Accord, 1993), p. 11.
2. W. Farley Jones, ed., A Prophet Speaks Today (New York: HSA-UWC, 1975), p. 157
3. Muhammad M. Pickthall, The Meaning of the Glorious Qur'an (Mecca: World Muslim League, 1977), p. 2.
4. Sun Myung Moon, "True Unification and One World," March 30, 1990.
5. Erich Fromm, The Art of Loving (New York: Harper & Row, 1956), p. 2.
6. Hak Ja Han Moon, "True Parents and the Completed Testament Age," 1993.
7. "True Unification and One World."
9. "True Parents and the Completed Testament Age."
10. "True Unification and One World"
12. Sun Myung Moon, "The True Family and I," September, 1995.
15. The word ch'aja means "seek for," not "restore." It is broader than "restore," which has a specific theological sense in the Divine Principle.
16. Mencius IV.A.S, tr. D.C. Lau, Mencius, Vol. 1 (Hong Kong: Chinese University Press, 1979), p. 141.
17. Mencius ILA.6, in World Scripture (New York: Paragon, 1991), p. 145.
18. Exposition of the Divine Principle (New York: HSA-UWC, 1996).
Note: All references to the Divine Principle are cited by chapter and section numbers.
19. The number 160 represents the world because as 4 x 4 x 10 it is an expansion of 4, the number of the earth. Moreover, the number 160 represents the scope of the True Parents' ministry. Jacob had 12 sons-the number 12 symbolizing the foundation of substantial accomplishment on earth. It is the product of 3 times 4, 3 denoting perfection through the 3 stages of the growing period and 4 symbolizing the earth with its 4 directions North, South, East and West. Moses had 72 elders-the number 72 being the number to restore the satanic world. It is the product of 12 times 6, 6 being the number of Satan. Jesus had 120 disciples-the number 120 symbolizing God's rule on earth. It is the product of 12 times 10, 10 denoting the realm of God's direct dominion. The True Parents restore 160 nations and tribal messiahs restore 160 families-the number 160 denoting the establishment of God's Kingdom through a course of suffering. It is the sum of 120 and 40, 40 denoting our True Father's wilderness course.
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