True Family Values
Joong Hyun Pak and Andrew Wilson
Chapter 3 - Love In the Family [Part 1]
3. Our family pledges to perfect the Four Great Realms of Heart, the Three Great Kingships, and the Realm of the Royal Family, by centering on true love.
The family has been described in many ways: an economic arrangement, the way the human species reproduces and raises its young, or the bearer of culture. These reasons, however, do not persuade many people to forsake the freedom of single life and take on the responsibilities of marriage and raising a family. The first reason why we form families is for love and companionship.
The School of Love
Everyone is seeking for happiness; it is the very purpose of life. Yet happiness cannot be found by oneself; it is only attained by relating with a counterpart. A teacher may have the most profound knowledge, but he cannot be happy if there is no one to hear his lecture. A woman doesn't beautify herself for her own sake; she wants to be appreciated by some man. Examples can be multiplied, but the principle is the same: Joy arises from companionship and sharing love.
Love is the force which brings two entities into oneness. Love is absolutely necessary if we are to find lasting happiness and fulfillment in life. When two people share love, their hearts quiver with joy. Should their relationship lack love, they will struggle and quarrel. Unhappiness in human life comes because we have difficulty in loving. Typical problems include: feeling that nobody loves me; wanting to love someone but being unable to give; loving someone who spurns me; or being loved by someone yet unable to receive it. Regardless of wealth, position or fame, a person cannot fulfill the purpose of life without perfecting love. Since love is so important for human fulfillment, God provides a school where we can learn the lessons of love.
The family is this school of love. The relationships in our family are the most fundamental to our life, for through them we learn how to love. From birth, we learn the basics of love through our relationships with our mother and father, brothers and sisters. Then we leave our parents' home, marry, and cultivate love through the relationships with our spouse and children in our new family. All the other relationships in our lives are patterned after these primary relationships. Our birth family and the family we make form a permanent set of relationships to care for us and challenge us to grow our love.
The emotions which sprout willy-nilly from instinctive desire do not amount to true love. Their energy needs to be cultivated through following the norms of love. When a person channels emotional energy through correct norms, it can blossom into true, lasting love. These norms should be present in the family and taught in the family; nevertheless, because humankind has been crippled in love our families have lacked these norms. We have been left to search elsewhere to fill in the gaps in our education. Religions, psychologists and spiritual teachers offer some remedial lessons. However, we should by all means try to perfect the relationships in our family, since God designed it to be love's proper school. Rev. Moon calls the third pledge the textbook of love. It describes the way love should be cultivated in God's school of love, the family.
The Four Great Realms of Heart
Four types of love arise in the family: children's love, fraternal love, conjugal love and parental love. Each of these types of love has its own distinctive qualities and purposes. Confucianism long ago developed a similar insight in its teaching of the five relationships: between father and son, between ruler and subject, between husband and wife, between elder and younger brothers, and between friends.
Each of these relationships flowers when the appropriate love is practiced:
Kindness on the part of the father, and filial duty on that of the son; gentleness on the part of the elder brother, and obedience on that of the younger; righteousness on the part of the husband, and submission on that of the wife; kindness on the part of elders, and deference on that of juniors; with benevolence on the part of the ruler, and loyalty on that of the minister-these ten are the things which men consider to be right. - Book of Ritual 7.2.191
The Family Pledge, however, does not only consider love from a humanistic point of view. Each of the four types of love participates in a particular realm of spirit through which God's love actively circulates.
We cultivate the four types of love-children's love, fraternal love, conjugal love and parental love-in the Four Great Realms of Heart. The education of love in the family progresses through lessons in each of these four realms. Why are they called realms of heart. God's heart is the irrepressible Source from which all love flows. Our hearts are vessels to receive God's love; they can give love in proportion to what they can receive. A realm is a domain of spirit imbued with a certain quality of love. In each realm, the vertical love of God flows into human hearts in a manner appropriate to that realm. Each realm of heart is like a class teaching a specific course of lessons. Each stimulates a particular quality of human love appropriate to that class. A corresponding quality of divine love becomes available to us as we progress through our class lessons. As we pass through each realm of heart, our hearts grow in their ability to receive and give love horizontally and we receive a more profound quality of divine love vertically. As family members love each other within one realm of heart, they help each other grow to the point when they can graduate to the next realm.
The Four Realms of Heart follow each other in chronological succession, like grades at school. We ascend from one realm to the next when our love reaches the standard required for entry into the higher realm. Thus, it is not appropriate to enter into the realm of conjugal love before its time, before love for brothers and sisters has matured. However, each realm also includes the realms below it. When a child develops a strong bond of heart with his brothers and sisters, he is still a child to his parents. In other words, the realm of fraternal love includes children's love. Likewise, the realm of conjugal love includes fraternal love and children's love, and the realm of parental love includes conjugal love, fraternal love and children's love. A father is also a husband, a brother, and a child to his aged parents. Nevertheless, the four types of love should never be confused. Let us consider each in turn.
Figure 4: The Four Great Realms Of Heart
The Children's Realm of Heart
A child is born out of the love of God. Every child is sacred: he or she contains the sprouting seed of a divine nature. As the child grows, her invisible, spiritual nature unfolds to embody God's divinity. Every child deserves a warm, loving atmosphere which will nurture her growing spirit. The people best suited to give the child that nurturing are her loving parents. Every child has a basic human right to loving parents.
A child's spiritual growth is nurtured by her parents' warm and abundant love. Their love induces the child's heart to grow. Just as sunlight coming down from the sky causes plants to grow upward and sprout many leaves, the parents' downward love induces the child's upward love for her parents and horizontal love to brothers and sisters to increase. Her parents' unconditional love gives the child an abiding sense of peace and self worth. Such qualities as self-esteem, trust, openness, devotion and obedience develop in the realm of children's love as induced through the true love of the parents.
Moreover, the parents act as the conduit for God's love. The face of her parents is the child's first image of God, and in their love she can understand God's reality. To the extent she receives her parents' love, she will also be receptive to God's love and truth. She will fill with wonder at her world and gratitude for her blessings. The Divine Principle states that the subject partner initiates love in a relationship, inducing the object partner to respond with beauty. Children's love grows as a response to parental love. So also with our response to God's love: "We love, because He first loved us." (1 John 4:19) Many people who become atheists or have a distorted image of God had unhealthy relationships with their parents and hence failed to develop properly the children's realm of heart.
When speaking of the child's receptivity to her parents, we should not omit the important role of her grandparents. Grandparents' love is a valuable supplement to parents' love. Indeed, studies have shown that where children living in single-parent families languish, deprived of balanced parental love, the presence of grandparents often determines whether the child will become successful in life and avoid falling into the abyss of drugs and crime.
Children's love grows from open receptivity into wanting to please the parents. This is the beginning of filial piety. Children naturally offer love and respect to their parents, expressed as obedience, gratitude and trust. Filial piety is nurtured in the protected atmosphere of the home where the parents take care of all the child's needs. Children know this and are grateful. They trust their parents and know they will protect them. Later, when the children have grown, they can express their gratitude in more active ways. They can give their parents what their parents could never give themselves.
Consider, for example, a poor family in which the parents scrimped and saved to put the children through college so that they can become wealthy and prosperous. On her birthday, the children buy their mother a diamond necklace. She could never afford it herself, having given all her means to raising the children. How happy she is to receive such a gift! Her joy knows no bounds at receiving that genuine expression of her children's love. That necklace is worth a thousand times more to her than it would have been had she bought it herself.
Children's love also includes imitation. The child sees in her parents the first image of what she can become and strives to meet her parents' standard. The parents' rules of behavior, their do's and don'ts, soon become internalized in the child as her own values. Mother only has to warn her child a few times that she should not cross the street before the child learns to avoid crossing the street on her own. Mother only has to enforce the rule that one should ask for something first and not just take it before her child begins to ask regularly. This also pleases her parents to no end; for there is nothing more gratifying than seeing their children become responsible people who share their values. In this way, children's love nurtures the growth of the conscience.
The conscience is our "second God." Like our inner parent, it advises us with the wisdom to follow the right path. Its perspective transcends self-interest and sees value in helping others. It is our natural compass. However, the conscience needs to be educated. Therefore, children possess a natural desire to learn right from wrong. It is natural and appropriate for children to test their limits and to overstep bounds because they want to know what they can and cannot do. Children are relieved when their parents say "No," for then they know where the boundary line lies. Parental love includes responsibility to educate the child's conscience. This includes administering discipline as well as affirming and celebrating the child's good deeds. The realm of children's love provides the essential foundation to the proper education of the conscience.
Children are of two kinds, boys and girls. As infants, one can hardly tell them apart -- were it not for our society's custom of dressing them in blue or pink to proclaim their gender. Both make their first emotional attachments to their mother. But after a few years, boys and girls begin to grow in different directions. They enjoy different pastimes and play with different toys. Boys naturally bond more closely to their mother, and girls develop a close emotional bond to their father. In grade school, boys and girls separate into different circles and even dislike one another. The popular fashion of de-genderization cannot obscure the natural and appropriate differences between boys and girls. They grow apart so that later they may come together and reflect the dual characteristics of God.
Children are not meant to manifest sexual love. Their sexuality should remain latent while they develop their masculine or feminine natures. This is a law of nature. Our society does its children a grave disservice by exposing them to sexually explicit music, television and movies, and placing them under intense social pressure to become sexually active as young adolescents. Children should be like closed buds, preserving the fragrance of sexual love deep in the core of their being. Meanwhile, education should deepen their souls and broaden their minds, that they may know beauty, truth and goodness. In this they prepare to meet ideal love one day. The educator Allan Bloom lamented the baneful effect of early sexual experience in his students:
There is a long road to adulthood, the condition in which they are able to govern themselves and be true mothers and fathers. This road is the serious part of education where instinct gives way to choice with regard to the true, the good and the beautiful. Puberty does not provide man, as it does other animals, with all that he needs to leave behind others of his kind. This means that the animal part of his sexuality is intertwined in the most complex way with the higher reaches of his soul, which must inform the desires with insight.
I believe that the most interesting students are those who have not settled the sexual problem, who are still... fresh and naive, excited by the mysteries to which they have not yet been fully initiated. There are some who are men and woman at the age of sixteen, who have nothing more to learn about the erotic ... They may become competent specialists, but they are flat-souled. The world is for them what presents itself to the senses to be; it is unadorned by imagination and devoid of ideals.2
As students have become sexually experienced at an earlier age, the erotic energy which should animate learning and fuel the imagination has been short-circuited by the early experience of all-consuming sexual relationships. Young people who become sexually active in high school are "flat-souled" because their spiritual growth has been aborted. Biblically speaking, illicit love brings death:
With much seductive speech she persuades him; with her smooth talk she compels him. All at once he follows her, as an ox goes to the slaughter... he does not know that it will cost him his life. -Prov. 7:21-23
Each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full grown brings forth death. James 1:14-15
Young people need freedom from premature sexual experience to reach their fullest potential within the realm of children's love. Here, the parents have three crucial responsibilities. First, parental discipline can keep children on the right path. Parents do not create arbitrary rules merely to impose their authority; they want their children to obey for their own safety and well-being. Just as God warned Adam and Eve not to eat of the fruit in order to preserve their spiritual lives, parents have an obligation to guard their children from the temptation of illicit love that would damage their spirit. Studies have shown that children raised under strict parental discipline are less than half as likely to be sexually active as teenagers as children raised by permissive parents.3 Second, parents have a special role to educate their children about intimate matters of sexuality and marriage. Sex education in the public schools is no substitute, and may even worsen the problem. School programs that instruct children only in proper means of contraception actually hasten the onset of sexual activity and increase the incidence of teen pregnancy and STDs among younger teens.4 Third, parents should reserve the right to approve their children's choice of a marriage partner, even to arrange their children's marriages. This was the traditional way, and it is full of wisdom. Instead of dating freely, a daughter should feel the obligation to present her special friend to her parents and seek their approval for a future betrothal. Sons should do likewise. The parents are in the best position to judge whether their children are spiritually ready for marriage, and who might be a suitable match. When parents fulfill these three obligations to their children, they can protect them from harm.
Sexual purity is essential to protect the children's realm of heart. Guarding one's virginity evidences good character and the highest self-esteem. Such a person feels no need to lower herself to follow the crowd, or to seek sexual experience for self-gratification or to fill an emotional void. She knows that immature, self-gratifying sex would corrupt her spirit and rob her of her chance for true love. Assured of her purpose in life, she is willing to wait and guard her sexuality for expression only in the context of the absolute commitment of marriage.
The Fraternal Realm of Heart
We learn to love our brothers and sisters because our parents first love them. Parental love nurtures the realm of fraternal love. A son's respect for his sister stems from the fact that she receives love from their parents. A daughter learns to love her elder brother because her parents love him. We naturally love whom our parents love. We could see our brothers and sisters as competition for our parents' attention, but instead we love them because we can view them through our mother and father's loving eyes. When a son loves his brother, he also loves his parents who love him. Were he to hate his brother, he would be doing something hateful to his parents.
The world lacks fraternal love, as a result it is afflicted with all manner of crime, murder, and war. We learn from the Bible that in the first family of humankind, the brothers Cain and Abel could not love each other. When Abel bragged to Cain that his offering was accepted while Cain's was not, Cain grew jealous and killed his brother. Why did this hatred well up and become fratricide? Look to their parents: Adam and Eve's love was founded in sin and filled with guilt, shame and mutual accusation. Cain and Abel grew up in this dysfunctional family. The children were a mirror of the parents. Just as Adam said, "the woman whom thou gayest to be with me, she gave me the fruit" (Gen. 3:12), Cain said, "Am I my brother's keeper?" (Gen. 4:9) Loving parents are absolutely essential to the development of fraternal love. Parental love is the root of fraternal love.
Fraternal love expands from the realm of children's love. Children extend their love for their parents to those whom their parents love their brothers and sisters. Just as a child first learns a sense of self-worth from his parents' love for him, he learns to respect the value of his brothers and sisters because his parents love them. Parents' love endows each of their children with value, making them worthy of respect. From this starting point, children learn empathy and caring. They learn to share and give. Fraternal love expands into friendship, and ultimately into the social virtues of tolerance and cooperation.
When you love your brothers and sisters, they become a part of you. When your parents love them, you feel like they are also benefiting you. How opposite is this from the jealousy that afflicts too many fraternal relationships! Since you view your brothers and sisters as your assets, you rejoice with their successes. If your brother owns a swimming pool and your house sports a fireplace, he will invite you to his house for a swim and you can reciprocate by welcoming him to enjoy an evening by the fire. Should your sister become famous, she can bring you fame as well. If the shoe is on the other foot, you would include your sister in your good fortune.
The relationship between elder and younger siblings also stems from the fact that fraternal love is an expansion of children's love. The elder brother is the first to be loved by his parents. He has a head start in developing children's love towards them. By the time his younger sister is born, he has already identified with his parents. As his parents love their newborn daughter, he can connect with their love for her and also take a parental position. Encouraging an older child to care for the youngers is indeed a recommended way to reduce sibling rivalry. The child's natural feelings of resentment and rivalry are transformed into pride and responsibility as he takes on the role of a third parent. By helping his parents, the child takes a step on the path to becoming a good parent himself. His younger sister, for her part, comes to respect, obey and emulate her elder brother. Thus arises a natural distinction between elder and younger siblings.
In the Orient, the distinction between elder and younger brothers is codified in the culture and its norms. The eldest son may receive a greater share of the inheritance, but he is also expected to bear greater responsibility for the family's welfare. Younger children are expected to show deference to their elder brothers and sisters. America, on the other hand, developed as an egalitarian society. All the children are treated the same. Which way is better? Let us look to the wisdom of the Oriental way. The order of birth sets up a natural distinction among siblings, conferring different privileges and unequal circumstances. Were the children to hold to the American ideal of absolute equality, it would lead to unwarranted jealousy among them. The Oriental acceptance of the natural inequality between elder and younger allows it to be channeled into a rational division of roles. Furthermore, learning to live constructively with inequality in the family provides good preparation for life in the world, where inequalities abound in the workplace, in school and in government. One reason many Americans have difficulty dealing with authority may be due to any lack of distinction in rank between siblings in their families.
The love which should imbue all social relationships expands from the fraternal realm of heart in the family. We deal with many complicated relationships in society based on the lessons learned in this realm of heart. Once we have learned not to envy our brother but instead respect him as the son whom our parents love, we can respect every person, regardless of his wealth and circumstances, as one who is dearly loved. The key condition for establishing peace and harmony in society lies in all its members finding their common parents. God is our heavenly Parent. His love extends to everyone. Anyone who deeply realizes this will be able to cultivate true brotherhood. He will be able to relate to all people with genuine love irrespective of race, nationality, or any other superficial marker by which we commonly prejudge each other. Furthermore, on this foundation relationships between states and other collectivities will be brotherly.
In any relationship, one of the partners may not feel like loving the other at any given moment. Yet God implanted within every person the heart to love and to answer to our love. If we regard the other person from the viewpoint of God, who created him with a bit of His precious essence, we will stop mistreating him. We will deal decently and lovingly with him, secure in the knowledge that eventually he will change in his attitude. Fortified by the love of God, we can stop being buffeted about by transient feelings and hurts, and instead call forth from deep within a caring love that transforms lives.
No matter how much parents may love their children, should the children fight each other, it brings their parents sorrow. As a parent, don't we want our children to love each other? We would want this even if they were remiss in caring for us. By the same principle, God has more love for the person who goes out into the world to ease the suffering of others than for the one who devotes himself to worshipping and glorifying Him. God wants justice and kindness more than a multitude of offerings and solemn worship. (Isa. 1:12-17; Mic. 6:6-8) Jesus taught that God does not even hear the prayers of believers who harbor hatred in their hearts. He counseled:
If you are offering your gift at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. -Matt. 623-24
Religious conflict causes the deepest pain of all in God's heart. When devout believers justify intolerance and hatred of others by pointing to differences in doctrine, they are placing human opinion ahead of God's love. This is blasphemy against God, whose fundamental nature is love.
The peak of fraternal love is to embrace people who are very different from ourselves. The Book of Revelation describes the heavenly Jerusalem as a city with twelve pearly gates. These represent the twelve types of human personalities according to the twelve months of the year or signs of the Zodiac. A pearl is created by an oyster which overcomes the pain of an irritating grain of sand by creating a thing of beauty that is smooth and round. The twelve gates are symbolized by pearls because we must do painful work to smooth out the rough and unpleasant features of our personality if we are to become people who can love all types of people.
We find it easy to relate with people whose personalities complement our own, or who resemble our parents or siblings or close friends. But other people have personalities we would rather avoid. When we shun a person because he is different from us, we are in fact shunning the one-twelfth of humanity whose personality is like his. Jesus had twelve disciples and loved them, representing all humankind. He even loved Judas, who would one day betray him. In this way, Jesus cultivated the perfection of fraternal love. We should make every effort to stretch our love to encompass all twelve types of people. Without perfecting our fraternal love to this extent, even our marriage may be plagued with quarrels as we discover incompatibilities with our spouse. When confronted with such difficulties, we should not blame our partner, but rather recognize our own lack of maturity. Rev. Moon's guidance that we should raise three, or better twelve, spiritual children before beginning married life is based on this principle.
In the spirit world, everyone is immediately felt to be brothers and sisters under the shining sun of God's true love. The walls between Protestants and Catholics, between Christians and Muslims, or between Black and White are human creations that bear no relation to the truth of spirit. If we have trained ourselves to love people of every culture, race and creed as our brothers and sisters, then in the spirit world we will have freedom to travel anywhere. In our time, as brotherhood becomes more widespread, earthly society is gradually coming to resemble the order of the spirit world. This will be complete when the True Parents are recognized throughout the world, and people of all cultures and religions rejoice to have found their common parents.
What Happened to Cain and Abel?
In the Divine Principle, the types of love flowing through the Four-Position Foundation were only three, and fraternal love was not among them, being subsumed under children's love. Why does the Family Pledge mention four types of love, adding fraternal love? This is, in fact, a most significant change connected with the merit of the new age we have now entered. Until now, the legacy of sin has poisoned fraternal relationships. They need restoration; hence the Divine Principle casts them in terms of Cain and Abel. To face them and restore them, we must pay some form of restitution. Now, however, the world is entering a new age, the Completed Testament Age, when we can enjoy the fraternal realm of heart. Brotherly love will flower according to the original order of the universe. As providence of the new age advances, it will grow ever easier to embrace our fellow human beings as beloved brothers and sisters.
This portends tremendous empowerment for us! Witnessing until now has been difficult, as we deal with remnants of the old age. To move people's hearts often required paying a heavy price. At the same time, many doors are now opening to fulfilling friendships, and our relatives and neighbors are often open-hearted and open to mentoring. Although it used to be a heavy burden to win over Cain, now, when we reach out to others, we may be astonished to find them responding enthusiastically and with heart-felt thanks.
The terms "Cain" and "Abel" refer to brothers who have lost fraternal love. Cain and Abel had no fraternal love because they had lost their parents, Adam and Eve. We know fraternal love blossoms from good parental love; otherwise brothers are liable to be jealous and resentful of each other. Yet humankind has languished without parents for the entire 6,000-year course of the history of restoration. Cain-Abel relationships are difficult because they face each other as enemies who do not recognize their common parentage. They stand apart as enemies because they carry between them the deposit of their ancestors' resentment against their Father, God. The person taking up the role of Abel can win Cain's heart only by dealing with this mountain of resentment which Cain carries.
If Cain and Abel only had parents who had given them true love, they could have easily resolved their quarrel without conflict. Whether we take the role of Cain or Abel, if we realize that our True Parents are here, loving us both and urging us to love each other, how can our enmity persist? This is in fact the key to understanding the spirituality of the Completed Testament Age. The True Parents are on the earth! All humankind is welcomed to feast at the banquet of their holy love! This means that our horizontal relationships need not be Cain-Abel relationships in the sense of the Principle of Restoration. Those were relationships among brothers whose parents were absent and resented; their restoration required a heavy indemnity course. In the loving embrace of our Parents, horizontal brother-sister relationships can be resolved quite easily. The Women's Federation for World Peace sisterhood meetings manifest this new reality. The spirit of True Mother is present, embracing with her warm love the sisters who formerly were enemies. There are no Cains, no Abels, only sisters.
One should remember this particularly when confronting problems in relationships with church elders. Whatever differences one may have with a elder, remember that the True Parents love him. They have trusted him and entrusted him with a mission. They also trust us to do our part to support our elder to accomplish that mission. Any negative feelings can be resolved in the love of God and the True Parents. In earlier years, when Rev. Moon was walking the wilderness course, we Unification Church members were walking with him through an intense providence to restore all the events of providential history in the condensed space of a few decades. In those days, relationships with our elders really were Cain-Abel relationships, charged with heavy indemnity, representing some situation in past history which needed to be re-enacted and restored. As that age of indemnification comes to an end, it becomes much easier to make unity. We can become one in heart with our elders and form an inseparable partnership with them in working to fulfill God's will.
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