Articles From the December 1995 Unification News
We humans exist in two worlds. The physical world of everyday perception, which is studied by Science, and the invisible spiritual world, which -so far- remains the exclusive domain of Religion.
The Divine Principle explains that we humans live in both worlds, and have a constant `connection' to the spiritual realm. In fact, its existence is central to our human-ness; without it we would merely be very clever animals.
Archeologists have noted the flowering of art, the ritual burial of the dead, and other ancient signs of the emerging spirituality of the human race.
Religion properly credits Divine intervention with this emergence. Religion also understands that, unfortunately, humanity fell from grace, and that evil then came into the picture.
Thus, humans and animals share physical natures; while only humans comprehend spiritual things, and must also deal with fallen nature.
From ancient times to today there have been many paradigms; our basic ideas about ourselves and our world. Especially, about the causes of the bounteous blessings provided by our Earth, and the disasters that it sometimes brings. Also, people have always speculated about the blessings of love and friendship-and the curses of hatred and enmity.
Animals live out their lives, and fulfill their innate natures, without much comprehension. (With a nod to Walt Disney & co.) They enjoy or endure their world with little beyond instinctive attempts to alter it.
From the very beginning, we humans have been completely different. Constantly studying and altering our world, with steadily improving tools, and -having spiritual natures- contemplating ourselves as well. (Some scientists attempt to dismiss all art, philosophy, science, etc. as mere `artifacts' of a brain grown large enough to grasp `the abstract.' They must have very cold lives.)
People have always been grateful for the rain, soil and harvest. However, they've also endured floods, earthquakes and famine. The ancient `pagan view' attributes these to supernatural forces; capricious spirits and demigods. All sorts of rituals, from the casually trivial to the bloodily gruesome, were employed to placate those forces.
In Pearl Buck's novel The Big Wave, she illustrates the pagan mindset. She describes a typical old Japanese fishing village. The fishermen gain their living from the sea, yet fear the sea-god's anger. With reason: sudden tsunamis sometimes appeared and swamped the village. Yet, they built their homes facing inland, with no windows facing the sea! Even when warned, they reluctantly sent only their youngest children to safety on high ground, while they stoically awaited their probable deaths.
The Western world took a different course. Gradually, thanks to Greek scientific curiosity (and their rigorous thought and experiment), and Hebrew ideas of human dignity (and the individual's place before a rational God), science has uncovered the forces and processes which shape our physical world. (Yes, dear `pc' friends, other peoples contributed too, a little.)
We now know that the Earth's normal tectonic forces produce volcanoes and earthquakes-not some vengeful earth god. (Or, for that matter, an apocalyptic Christian God.) Even so, some people still build homes atop faultlines, and on the slopes of volcanoes! Advanced nations sometimes restrict the development of flood-plains and such, but too often they follow their pagan cousins into the waiting jaws of disaster.
Put succinctly: A wise personal and social policy would avoid a large proportion of such disasters. Also, science is getting closer to predicting `sudden' disasters such as tornadoes, lightning, and earthquakes. The lightning rod was an American invention-and some few preachers denounced them as interfering with God's Will!
On a more intimate -but no less important- scale, there are the twin problems of accident and disease.
Most accidents are due to carelessness, by one or more parties. (Anyone who has spent more than ten minutes on an urban freeway can testify to this!) Such habits as using the proper tools, firearms safety, and careful driving, will allow one to avoid most accidents. (Rev. Moon speaks of the importance of vehicle cleanliness.) Police departments and other community groups give classes on such subjects. Mountain climbing with ropes might be a safer way to get a thrill!
Most diseases are due to improper nutrition, sanitation, and lack of immunization. It is a shame that these remain problems, in a world where it need not be so, even in the Third World. (Especially when due to ignorance amidst plenty.) The sex-and-needle transmitted diseases can be (almost) entirely avoided simply by altering ones' personal behavior.
Thus we can enjoy the bounties of our physical world, and deal effectively with many of its dangers.
As if the physical world weren't dangerous enough, we must also deal with crime and evil; the dark and fallen side of our spiritual natures. With abusive persons, with lone criminals and gangs, and with evil terrorists and national-level powers.
Many people refer to criminals as "animals." Others point out that this is quite an injustice to real animals! Carnivores, even sharks, eat only when they are hungry-and that isn't nearly all of the time. Even without understanding the spiritual side of evil, it is terribly obvious that human cruelty far exceeds anything an animal would do.
People especially fear random violence-the crazed gunman or the sudden explosion. Some are fortunate enough to live in a "good area," or in a nation at peace. In any case, being "street wise" can often help one avoid criminals.
People trapped in war zones have it much worse. Too often, their own society's too-proudly-held ethnic or religious divisions brought that war (or terrorism) upon them. Then the good people must risk their very lives, simply to work openly for peace! In places like Oklahoma City, we could only pray for the innocent victims. And then work against enraging injustices (if any)-and to enlighten those so darkened by hatred.
In humanity's relentless drive to remake the world, sometimes there are bad consequences, such as soil erosion and pollution. Also, there are `indirect' crimes such as shoddy workmanship or impure products. These result in physical disasters, but their cause lies in sinful greed and indifference.
As anxiety-producing as all this sounds, there is hope. The fear of crime has been greatly exaggerated in these days of instant live-on- scene television news.
Actually, most violence takes place within the family, and is done by a family member. Much of the rest takes place within narrow subcultures; usually groups where alcohol is fully involved. And there are, of course, various places that are well-known to be dangerous.
Always, a simple awareness of one's surroundings is important. Rev. Moon has said that "intuition is the highest spiritual sense." In a dangerous situation this would really come in handy!
God-centered families, and circles of friends and associates, are a blessing to those who live within them-and in more ways than one. Within the true Blessing, the `family violence' one hears about will not tarnish one's life.
The Bible calls this Earth a "vale of tears." We enjoy the blessings - and face the dangers- that flesh and spirit can bring. With common sense and a religious life we can deal with many problems. An example from your author's own routine: When parking the car, two forms of protection are always put to use, a sun-shield and "The ClubR."
Through science we can detect -and often avoid- incipient physical disasters. With prudence we can avoid almost all personal-scale calamities, as well. This is part and parcel of the fulfillment of the Three Blessings.
We must also contend with evil. Sincere religion, and even simple conscience, have done much to diminish evil, and the dangers it brings to our lives. The advancement of God's Providence now gives us the opportunity to push it entirely out of our lives (and eventually, our world), following the example of the True Family.
Both the physical and spiritual worlds obey certain laws and principles. Here on Earth, forces such as gravity and inertia are absolute, and (barring some fantastic future discovery) they will always affect us. Hence, some accidents will inevitably occur. God certainly could not be blamed for these.
Unknown to science, and known only vaguely by traditional religion, the spiritual world also has its laws and forces. We humans are constantly buffeted by these influences; reacting to them in countless ways.
Fulfilling the law and heart of tan gam ("indemnity") and selfless giving are as concretely beneficial to us as remembering to take our vitamins.
Ultimately, the entire world can become one Peaceable Kingdom. Rev. Moon, reaching back to Korea's shamanistic heritage, speaks of all things having some form of consciousness. Nowadays, modern Physics (Schrodinger's waveform theorems, etc.), may indicate that there is an unseen Unity between all things; even between the simplest of elementary particles.
The Bible states that the entire Creation -the Earth itself and every creature it bears- suffers from the effects of the Fall of Man. In the coming Kingdom, it is entirely possible that the weather, the flora and fauna, and everything else, will be bound together in a way that we can barely conceive of today.
Heavy rocks would still fall, and lions hunger for fresh meat, but all would be aware of their proper place in nature's order. Also, the spiritual world would be a constant, benign companion and protector. Lastly, all people would know God's Heart and Will, and would treat their work, each other, as He would.
c 1995 by Paul Carlson
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