Unification News for January 2000

Some Thoughts on Godís Day 2000

Frank Kaufmann
January, 2000

There are three things I would like to discuss about Godís Day 2000. 1. Its experiential resonance with the world at large. 2. Its theoretical resonance with the world at large, and 3. The especial evidence of the unique quality of attendance and presence.

Perhaps I speak for myself, but the anticipation of extreme inconvenience related to attending this yearís Godís Day ceremonies made the prospect of taking a pass on the whole thing very tempting indeed. Now, dear brothers and sisters I am talking about an extremely religious pass mind you. You may be certain that I would have had the holiest and most reverent observance of Unification traditions in the comfort of my home.

But my keepers assigned to torture me until I end up in heaven, made sure to dismantle my intentions and arguments against the bedlam option, and as always I yielded to the "higher" ground. (Lord lift me up, and make me stand...)

What interested me after finally getting myself there, was my discovery that attending this event as a participant proved completely trouble free. Travel through the city was a breeze. New Yorkís finest felt like personal escorts every step of the way. The organization of the event proved remarkably orderly (kudos to the event planners under the direction Doc Hendricks and Reverend Yang). Each part of the three day program seemed to proceed with uncommon dignity, joy, and orderly and well conceived crowd management. The only exception to this near perfect organization was that band of participants genetically hard-wired to be rude, disorderly, disrespectful, and unreasonable. I left those folk break down their own over-packed elevators, allowing my Godís Day to be fun and trouble free.

This fear that Godís Day 2000 would descend into chaos was a mirror of the same fears which pervaded the world at large. The year-long hype for ringing in the New Millennium eventually fizzled under a media melt down, as those who are almost always wrong all but predicted the end of the world as we know it. Border guards were finding a bomb in every baby carriage, an army of Bin Laden clones were set to vaporize any place were two or more were gathered. Computers would turn on their masters (like that twilight zone episode). And general madness would ensue. Stay home was the wise counsel at the end of the day. This was the "worldís" version of our same smaller fear that Godís Day 2000 would be a typical chaos, full of mistreatment, heirarchicalism run amok. leaders dining with gilded flatware, while babies starved and were trampled under foot by that faithful type seeking the front row. Both sets of expectations proved precisely and perfectly false.

Those "in the world" who swallowed hard and headed for the big celebrations (like Times Square) found the events to be calm, delightful, trouble free, well organized, happy and fun, without excess, and remarkably joyous and peaceful all the way around. The Unification experience mirrored the same phenomenon. Godís Day 2000, as I said, was orderly, organized, Western members ate, each part of the program was glorious and memorable... yes things were wonderful all around.

This resonance with the rhythm of the "world at large," is significant. I will touch on in a moment.

The second point of resonance is what I called "theoretical," or perhaps call it "spiritual." This is the match in the "feeling" of the new millennium. The world at large (save the war-torn regions) is experiencing a general air of hopefulness and optimism. This general feeling of hopefulness, and positivity in the "world at large," is just the same as Fatherís essential message. This "era" Father explains is the time of freedom and opportunity. This is the inner aspect of the Ďmovementí/íworldí resonance which I consider noteworthy.

Then there is the matter of "attendance," and "presence." We all know that reading Fatherís speeches is just not the same as being there. Actually being with Father for a message and reading it later is often like night and day. Sometimes it can get so extreme that it is not altogether infrequent that while attending Father live, I can hear something and agree with it completely, then later when I read the very message it might drive me crazy, or even irritate me.

This time with Father the chasm between "attendance/presence" and second hand reading was more pronounced than ever. Massive amounts of Fatherís self-expression this time was non-verbal. In fact the actual Godís Day message itself was so incredibly playful and filled with dance and pantomime as to be virtually theater. It would be wonderful if a video were available of this speech. No words can capture Fatherís palpable and infectious joy, and childlike playfulness and delight which characterized that speech.

This seems increasingly to be the case as Father moves ever more radically into a sphere of sheer presence and heart to heart communication; further and further from the driven, plodding, complicated, aggressive ideologizing which so uniformly characterized what might be dubbed "the war years." I am deeply concerned that leaders, and those blessed by God with the opportunity to be in the presence of Father, take great pains to communicate this poetic realm of freedom which Father insists is upon us. It seems to me that we are leaving the time when we can replace "being" with Father, with "reading the speech." This new quality of communication I feel places a very serious burden on those leaders responsible for mediating, and communicating Father, and if the past is any measure, it is cause for concern about this. Perhaps increased dissemination, and more reliable access to videos might help respond to this new challenge.

If my earlier observation about the "world" mirroring the "movement," is true, it is hopeful. It would signify, in my interpretation, that True Parents are in fact accomplishing what they claim. It goes like this: Fatherís earliest preaching shows him to be a solitary, condemned figure, cast out in the wilderness, unknown, and under a death sentence from the universe under Satanís command. This reality is one in which the Unification "movement" (consisting simply of Father himself) is most perfectly different from the "world at large." The world is vast, powerful, and satanic, and the movement is one individual unlikely even to survive.

This discrepancy is steadily equalized and reversed through the course of eight stages of unspeakable and unknowable indemnity, through the restoration of the elder sonís position, and finally to the settlement of cosmic True Parents in the era of the 4th Adam. This means that the fortitude and doggedness of True Parents makes the world belong to God through them. With this the experience and feeling of the "world" should come to match the experience and feeling of Fatherís world. This is why I note as significant similarities between the Unification Godís Day 2000 and the "worldís" New Millennium New Yearís celebration.

Imagine this, at around 2am the Unificationists left Manhattan Center filled with joy and peace. Father had given a joyful, hopeful, loving message, painted a glorious motto, and life was grand. We made our way around the corner from the 34th Street Manhattan Center entrance to the 8th Avenue, New Yorker Hotel entrance. In doing so we had to pass revelers from Times Square who were ending their festivities at just the same time! I am well accustomed to these two ships passing in the New York night. Each Sunday I drive through the 4am debauchery on the New York City streets on my way to Belvedere. On those mornings the "world" and we Unificationists are opposites indeed. But in this time it was different. The two communities were not that radically distinct. The feeling was not that radically distinct. They were tired, relaxed, relatively sober, and happy to wish us a happy new year. We were just about the same, tired, happy, hopeful, intoxicated with True Parents, and at the end of the day quite at home with our brothers and sisters in Godís great big Ďworld."

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