Articles from the September 1997 Unification News

Divine Principle, Volume One - Part Seven

In the same way that plants and animals have to reach a certain level of growth before man can harvest or have full use of them, so human beings are to mature spiritually before God can "harvest" us.

Such maturity is achieved as man becomes one with God's heart; when man fully responds to God, God bestows on him His love and His power. This is called Direct Dominion.

Divine Principle teaches that the promise of the Direct Dominion is in living heart to heart with God as matured persons. In this union, God governs by love, and laws and commandments become unnecessary. Under the direct rule of God man is completely free-liberated to be who he was meant to be. Direct Dominion, therefore, should not be confused with a one-sided domination, but rather understood as a mutual loving companionship. It is the crowning jewel in one's interior life, opening immense new vistas of love, joy and beauty.

A Shared Task

In one of the most memorable works of Feodor Dostoyevsky, the story of the Grand Inquisitor, Christ has returned to earth. He has embarked again on a ministry of healing and charity and, to his surprise, is subsequently whisked off to prison. Here he confronts the Grand Inquisitor. Christ is told he must again face death, for he is again guiding people in the wrong direction. He is leading people to freedom and self-responsibility, "fearful burdens" too great for man to bear. It is better, Christ is told, for individuals not to confront self-responsibility to the Church, they are given what they need: bread and other symbols of security.

While it is no doubt overstated, Dostoyevsky's story makes its point. There is a tendency in all of us not to take responsibility for our own lives. On occasion we would like to give that burden to God, to the church, or to any figure representing strength and authority.

Despite such tendencies, Divine Principle, with much of contemporary thought, affirms the critical role individuals must play in shaping their own destiny. we cannot pass off responsibility to someone else. Each of us is the captain of his own ship.

Of course, this is not to say that we are alone. For Divine Principle, God is on our side. There is an organic partnership between man and God. However, God's efforts on our behalf become effective only when we do our part. In the course of growth, of achieving the Direct Dominions, of building the Kingdom, God does His part and we must do ours. Until our portion is completed, God's efforts are futile. The Lord helps those who help themselves because He can only help those who help themselves.

In light of this principle certain habitual practices of Jesus become more understandable. When Jesus healed the sick he first asked if they believed in him. When he entered the house, the blind men came to him; and Jesus said to them, "Do you believe that I am able to do this?" They said to him, "Yes, Lord." Then he touched their eyes saying, "According to your faith be it done to you (Mt. 9:28-29)."

Faith was the condition that allowed God's healing energy to work. Without that faith, no healing was possible. Likewise Matthew tells us that Jesus promised people seeking for answers that they would find them, but urged them to first do their part.

"Ask, and it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened (Mt. 7:7-8)."

If we ask why it is we have been given this portion of responsibility, two reasons suggest themselves. First, each of us is created as a child of God. We are given the freedom to make choices and the obligation to take responsibility for them. In this way God allows us to participate in the creation of our own selves. In a sense, we thus become co-creators with Him.

Secondly, Divine Principle explains that God wanted man to be lord over all the world as His representatives. However, a person can rightfully have dominion only over what he has made- and none of us made the world. Therefore, we must make some condition whereby we can become creators ourselves. By taking responsibility in our own self-creation, Divine Principle tells us, we qualify to inherit the Lord's right of dominion.

Sharing Responsibility

Naturally, compared to the care God takes for our growth, our own responsibility is minute. The two cannot actually be compared. Nevertheless, we can figuratively say that God's portion of responsibility is 95 percent while ours is 5 percent. Five percent of the job, however, cannot be fulfilled by 5 percent effort. Even though we are responsible for only a small part of the total task, we need 100 percent effort to fulfill it.

We may say then that God is like a master stone mason building a magnificent stone wall. He has laid almost all the stones Himself, heaving just one unplaced. We are asked to lay the final block. As co-workers with God, we are then to take part in the glory of the finished product.

Because historically humankind has not fulfilled its 5 percent, God has had to wait for adequate human action. No matter how long it may take, this principle of co-responsibility has remained unchanged. We live in a world of suffering, not because God's lack of concern, but because humanity has not fulfilled its responsibility. We shape the destiny of the world by our actions, and our decisions determine not only our own success, but that of God as well.

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