An Introduction to the Thought of Sun Myung Moon: Unification Thought and V.O.C. Theory
The Theory of the Original Human Nature studies our nature as it would have been originally, i.e., had there not been a human fall. From the original standpoint, each person is a being with Divine Image, which resembles the Image of God, and a being with Divine Character, which reflects the character of God. We are also beings with position, and this resembles the characteristic of position in the Original Image.
All created entities are individual embodiments of truth resembling the dual characteristics of God. Human beings, too, are embodiments of truth, and thus resemble the Divine Image, which consists of sungsang and hyungsang, yang and yin (the Universal Image) and the Individual Image. Originally, each person should thus be a being of united sungsang and hyungsang, a being of harmonized yang and yin, and a being with individuality.
Resembling God's sungsang and hyungsang implies that human beings are made up of a mind and a body, and thus are beings of united sungsang and hyungsang. There are four kinds of sungsang and hyungsang in human nature. First, each human being is a substantial image integrating all things and containing all the sungsang and hyungsang elements of animals, plants and minerals. Second, each person is a dual being of spirit person and physical person. Third, each person is a united being of mind and body. And fourth, each human being is a being with a dual mind consisting of a spirit mind and a physical mind.
Among these four kinds, the understanding of the human being as the united being of spirit mind and physical mind will receive particular attention in the Theory of the Original Human Nature. In philosophy, this issue corresponds to the study of how human essence is determined (the issue of essentialism). Both the spirit mind and the physical mind belong to the mind (sungsang). They nevertheless appear in a sungsang – hyungsang relationship to the extent that one is the mind of the spirit person (sungsang) and the other the mind of the physical person (hyungsang).
The function of the spirit mind is to pursue a life of truth, goodness, beauty, and love, in other words, a life of value. A life of value means living "for the sake of others;" it means a life of love for the sake of the family, society, nation, and humankind.
Ultimately, it means living for the sake of God. In contrast, the function of the physical mind is to secure food, shelter and clothing. In other words, it pertains to the material life centering on the physical person.
In the original order, the spirit mind and the physical mind stand in a relationship of subject and object. By uniting through give-and-take action, they together form our original mind. Hence, the original mind first seeks the life of value desired by the spirit mind; next it seeks the material life desired by the physical mind. In this way, if the physical mind follows the spirit mind and the spirit mind fulfills its given functions, they will resonate with each other. This is the state of having perfected one's character, which corresponds to what human beings originally should be. As a result of the fall, however, the original relationship between the spirit mind and the physical mind was reversed. In order to restore the original human condition, this reversed relationship itself has to be restored. This is why religion and a life of discipline became necessary.
Yang and yin are the attributes of sungsang and hyungsang. In the Theory of the Original Human Nature, they refer to husband and wife, the substantial yang being and the substantial yin being. Animals, plants, and minerals all exist and multiply through the combination of yang and yin. Since this is the case for all things of creation, the union of yang and yin in human beings, i.e., the union of husband and wife, can easily be seen as consisting of solely the union of their physical bodies. In doing this, though, one only considers the biological aspect. The union of a couple is not simply a biological union; it presupposes a union of character and love. Beyond individual perfection, the true perfection of human nature can only be achieved by a family that is realized through a personal relationship between husband and wife. Furthermore, in Unification Thought, the union of husband and wife has cosmic meaning.
First, husband and wife each represent one of God's dual characteristics of yang and yin. Accordingly, their conjugal union signifies the manifestation of God. Second, the original union of a couple represents the final stage of God's creation, demonstrating the completion of the creation of the universe. God's ultimate purpose in creating the universe is the appearance of human beings who have proper dominion over all things. Third, husband and wife each originally represent half of humankind. In a couple, the husband represents masculine humanity and the wife represents feminine humanity. Thus, their union represents the unity of all of humankind.
Fourth, originally, husband and wife each represent half of the world family. Within the family, the husband represents all men and the wife represents all women. Thus, their union represents the perfection of the family.
When seen from this perspective, the loving union of husband and wife signifies God's manifestation in that family and the completion of the creation of the universe. It also demonstrates the unity of humankind and perfection of the family. Hence, the union of husband and wife is indeed a precious and sacred union with divine value (Fig. 11).
Fig. 11: The Original Meaning of the Family
When husband and wife each live according to their original mind, they come to resemble the perfection of the inner four-position foundation; their harmonious relationship represents the perfection of the outer four-position foundation. In this way, the couple comes to fully resemble the image of perfection. After reaching the maturity of their personality, when they establish a give-and-take relationship of love with each other according to the purpose of creation, God's love comes to reside between them. The family is the place where the horizontal love of husband and wife and the vertical love of God meet. Human beings are thus the embodiment or microcosm of the universe in terms of its constituent elements, while the family is the embodiment of the universe in terms of organizational order. Thus, the family created by the harmonious love between husband and wife becomes the key to solving the problems of society and the world. In short, the original perspective on human nature can be summarized by speaking of homo amans, i.e., men and women of love.
When considering an individual embodiment of truth specifically from the perspective of its individual nature, one speaks of a being with individuality. The Individual Image upon which the individual character of human beings is based differs from that of plants or animals. In the case of plants and animals, the Individual Image is determined by each species, but in the case of human beings each person has its own Individual Image. God endowed each human being with a particularized Individual Image so that he might obtain, from each one of them, a unique, stimulating joy. Thus, human beings are beings of supreme value who can give supreme joy to God through their unique individuality. This Individual Image is also part of the original human nature.
The Individual Image manifests the specific human nature in three different ways. First, there is the particularity of our bodily and facial features. Second, there is each person's peculiar type of behavior. Third, there is one's particular creative expression. This does not only refer to artistic creativity, but also to every type of activity through which we express our creative ability. God feels pleased when looking upon each individual human being because each person gives unique beauty to him through features, behavior, and creative activity. This is the beauty of individuality, which includes the specific beauty of features, behavior, and creative expression.
Due to the human fall, however, human individuality has so far been largely ignored and, in many instances, human rights have been violated. Based on its materialistic worldview, communism shows particular contempt for human individuality, which it considers to be derived from the environment. Humanism, on the other hand, emphasizes the value of human individuality, but finds itself unable to give an appropriate philosophical foundation to this viewpoint. As for Unification Thought, it does not consider human individuality to be derived from the environment or to be due to random causes. On the contrary, in Unification Thought, human individuality is derived from God's Individual Image and thus has a most precious value, an understanding that offers a firm theological and philosophical foundation.
Human beings originally resemble God's Divine Character. Thus, they are beings with Heart, Logos, and Creativity.
As we have seen in the Theory of the Original Image, Heart is the emotional impulse to seek joy through love. In other words, it is the irrepressible emotional impulse to love. Heart is the very source of love and it is the core of God's character. When human beings inherit God's Heart they come to resemble his perfect nature. Therefore, a human being who has become one with God's Heart and has thus achieved perfection of character can be called a being with Heart.
Heart forms the core element of sungsang and is the source of the functions of intellect, emotion, and will. Hence, it is the starting point for the formation of character and the basis of truth, beauty, and goodness. This makes it the starting point for the creation of culture. All aspects of culture – science, philosophy, art, morality, ethics, politics, economics, law, literature, sports, etc. – are the results of the action of intellect, emotion, and will (Fig. 12). Thus, in the original world, a person with Heart will be the protagonist in all areas of cultural life.
Fig. 12: The Relationship between Mind (Intellect, Emotion, and Will), Value, and Culture, Centering on Heart
As we have also shown in the Theory of the Original Image, Logos is the product (multiplied body) of developmental give-and-take action within the sungsang, centering on the purpose of creation.
Accordingly, it is God's plan, and it is reason-law. Also, since the purpose of creation is based on Heart, so is Logos.
Since the universe was created through the Word or Logos, it is also sustained by reason-law. Consequently, human beings, as part of the universe, were also created through the Logos and were meant to live by the Logos, so we can say that they are beings with Logos.
To be a being with Logos means to be a being with reason-law. The characteristic feature of reason is freedom and the characteristic feature of law is necessity, therefore a "being with Logos" refers to a being in which freedom and necessity are united. This means that human beings are norm-based beings, living according to laws or norms, as well as rational beings, behaving according to free will. Saying that human beings are norm-based means that they exist according to the law at work in the universe, i.e., the law of give-and-take action. However, since Heart is the motivation upon which Logos is formed within the Original Image, God's Heart and his love are always at work behind universal law. Accordingly, love is the motive of a human's norm-based life, and the realization of that love is its purpose.
God's creativity is based on Heart. Accordingly, when God endowed humankind with his creative power, it was in order to have people dominate all things with love, based on Heart. Dominion refers to natural beings and entities, property, and generally all material objects, but it also includes everything that involves human relationships and human activities. When dominion is performed with God's love, it can be called original dominion. Thus, originally, resembling God's creativity and his ability to have dominion, humans were to be beings with creativity. But, due to the fall, humankind was unable to truly inherit God's creative nature and ended up engaging only in self-centered creative activities. Having lost the motive of Heart, human beings came to apply their creativity based on reason alone and in a self-centered way. This has led to environmental pollution, the arms race, and other similar problems.
In today's world, scientists consider it to be their task to limit their investigation to so-called objective facts, by excluding questions of value. This mistaken point of view has led to the chaotic situation the world experiences today. It is only when science manages to develop human creativity centering on Heart that it will be able to become a tool of civilization that can truly benefit humankind. It is with this in mind that Rev. Sun Myung Moon has sponsored the International Conferences on the Unity of the Sciences, hoping to enable scientists to recover their true creative ability by developing their scientific research centering on a view of value.
Resembling God's own correlative nature, human existence involves standing both in the position of subject and object. Human beings initially stand in the position of object to their parents, as they are born and grow to maturity. Then, they stand in the position of subject to their own children. The former is called the object position; the latter is called the subject position. Together, they form the position of a connected body.
The object position is that of an object being dominated by a subject.
It always involves the desire to return beauty and joy to the subject. Since human beings were created by God as his objects of joy, the first meaning of our lives is to make God happy. And, since human beings were first created in order to stand in the position of object, they also stand in that position in relationship to those standing in the position of God. Examples of this object position towards a subject include the case of human beings as children or objects of joy for God, children as objects of love for their parents, citizens standing under the authority of the nation, disciples following the guidance of their teacher, employees receiving instructions from their superiors, and individuals sacrificing for the community.
The necessary internal attitude for an object to receive such dominion is called "object consciousness." Object consciousness towards God is a heart of attendance and loyalty. Towards one's country, that consciousness becomes a spirit of patriotism. Towards one's parents, it becomes filial piety. Towards one's teacher, it is respect. Towards one's superior, it is obedience. Towards humankind as a whole, it is the heart of offering oneself for the sake of the other. Generally speaking, in all these cases, the object's attitude towards the subject is one of deference and humility, with the heart of living for the sake of the subject.
The subject position is that of exerting dominion over an object. As human beings, created by God in the position of objects, come to grow and reach perfection, they also come to stand in the position of subject towards all things, i.e., they stand in the position of exerting dominion over them. By adopting the position of object in front of God, human beings come to stand in the position of subject towards creation. Examples of the position of a subject towards his object in human relations include parents loving their children in the family, teachers instructing their students in a school setting, superiors dealing with their subordinates in a company, governments giving directions to the citizens, and society as a whole standing in a position of being served by individuals.
For a subject to exert dominion over an object, a certain internal attitude is required. This attitude is called "subject consciousness."
First of all, the subject has to show constant concern for the object so that the object never comes to feel a sense of neglect. Second, the subject has to give limitless love to the object and thus practice original true love; only that love has the elements of eternal joy, happiness and ideal. Through it alone can people be revived. Third, the subject must elicit a recognition of authority from the object and display a sense of authority for the sake of the common good. However, this authority must be exerted in such a way as not to deprive the object of spontaneity and creativity.
Combining within themselves the positions of object and subject, human beings are beings of dual position. This is what is meant by "connected-body position." Accordingly, the attitude necessary when standing in such a position is that of combining object consciousness and subject consciousness to reach "connected-body consciousness."
In democracy, the concept of equality of rights as an equality among objects before God has degenerated into the notion of equality of subjects before the law. As a result, the inherent contradiction of democracy has surfaced as a conflict among different subjects, causing all kinds of social confusion. In democratic societies, each individual exclusively insists on his rights as a subject. Given the loss of a religious feeling of love towards God or any disposition that could play a regulative role, it has by necessity become exceedingly difficult to control the outbreak of conflicts in society.
To solve these contradictions within democratic society, humankind needs to revive the original, inborn object consciousness. The leaders of the democratic world must invite God, the true subject of humankind, to return. Humanity needs to go back to the original spirit with which democracy started, namely the idea that all people are equal before God. Unification Thought refers to God-centered democracy as a world of brothers and sisters based on the "heavenly parentism" of God.