Explorations in Unificationism edited by Theodore T. Shimmyo and David A. Carlson

Reason and Heart: A Comparison Between Hegel's Philosophy and Unification Thought by Paul J. Perry


The purpose of this paper is to attempt a comparison between Hegel's philosophy and Unification Thought. Since Hegel has left a vast and abundant legacy of ideas, a paper like this necessarily must focus on certain aspects of his philosophy, to the exclusion of others perhaps equally as important. The Hegelian ideas considered here will be taken primarily from the book Philosophy of Right, with occasional reference to other Hegelian works.

Of necessity, this paper will be more about Unification Thought than about Hegel. The views presented here are my own, and do not represent an official position by the Unification Thought Institute. I will suggest here that Unification Thought differs from Hegel in the sense that it represents a broader view than that set forth by Hegel. This is seemingly an impossible task, something like attempting to out-Hegel Hegel, but I will attempt to show that Hegel could -- and should -- be complemented by Unification Thought.

According to Unification Thought, traditional philosophical systems can be seen as forming a lineal movement, ascending with each new age, forming a kind of ladder in search of the heavenly thought (EUT, xxi). The system introduced by Unification Thought would represent an effort to order all the various thoughts that appeared throughout human history. In this sense, then, it can be said that all the traditional thought systems are contained in Unification Thought -- in other words, the core truths of traditional philosophies are included in Unification Thought.

If this view is correct, then Hegel's thought can be seen as one aspect of Unification Thought, though a very important one. In this paper I will offer an approach to seeing Hegel's ideas from that perspective. Accordingly, Hegel's views will be presented in relationship to Unification Thought.

My focus here will be on fundamental points which seem most relevant for a contrast with Unification Thought. Fundamentally, Hegel proposes his philosophy as a means to understand the world; in Unification Thought, the process whereby philosophical conclusions are reached should culminate with something practical, with solutions for actual problems. An effort is made, however, to analyze the problems themselves -- not just their manifestations. In other words, contrary to Hegel, Unification Thought does not believe that an understanding of the universe and of all its problems can be attained deductively from logical reasoning. On the contrary, such understanding and such solutions must be obtained through logical reasoning, through scientific observation and through a revelation from God. If revelations are obtained, they need to be confirmed through logical reasoning, through experience and through the observation of facts.

There are many, excellent reasons for a paper such as this contrasting Hegel's philosophy with Unification Thought. In the context of Western Philosophy, Hegel's influence has been very strong. Even during his own lifetime, Hegel influenced many fields of knowledge, and his method of thinking was applied in such areas as philosophy, theology, history, art and literature.

Hegel gathered a number of followers who applied his method to a Hegelian treatment of history, especially the history of philosophy. During the middle of the 19th century Hegelianism spread throughout the whole European continent. Soren Kierkegaard (1813-1855), though developing an existentialist philosophy that fundamentally posed Hegel's system of reality, was nevertheless influenced by Hegelian categories and the dialectical method. Hegelianism also had a substantial impact on French, Italian and British thought.

In the United States, also, Hegel's philosophy very early inspired many scholars, several of which had immigrated from war-torn Europe. An effort was made to apply Hegel's view of the movement of the "Absolute Spirit" in the context of American history. For instance, the Civil War was interpreted in a Hegelian way as the collision between the abstract right of the South and the abstract morality of the North, which gave rise to a new national consciousness. Hegel's thought is still alive in Europe and the United States. For instance, within the existentialist school of Martin Heidegger (1889-1976).

More significantly, Hegel's philosophy has played an important role in the development of Marxist ideology. The emergence of a left-wing Hegelianism -- the so-called "Young Hegelians," originated from the interpretation that "what is rational is substantial." This idea would imply the disappearance of imperfect systems, the incomplete moments of the Idea.

Therefore, according to left-wing interpretation, it is possible to attack the present order on behalf of the future one, especially in the area of political philosophy. The Young Hegelians drew atheistic and revolutionary conclusions from Hegel's philosophy. Such a division in the Hegelian school was actually a reflection of the times, responding to the oppressive policies of the Prussian monarchy. In a parallel way, discordance soon appeared also in the area of religion. Ludwig Feuerbach (1804-1872), an early disciple of Hegel, made a decisive step away from theism and criticized religious and philosophical idealism severely. Feuerbach came to view "religious alienation" as the source of "philosophical alienation," of which Hegel's system was considered the greatest expression.

Karl Marx was a follower of the Hegelian school and was soon attracted by left-Hegelianism. Both Marx and Engels were extremely influenced by Hegel's dialectical method. In his preface to the second edition of Capital (1873), Marx declared that Hegel's dialectic stood on its head and needed to be turned the right way -- which for Marx meant that the dialectical method had to be oriented towards actual material conditions. Through that process, Marx developed his own materialistic dialectic in the area of history and that gave rise to his historical materialism. Of course, Marx had already decided to destroy the existing society and the dialectic represented only a theoretical support for class struggle and the proletarian revolution.

The study of Hegel is also significant in the context of Unification Thought. Hegel has given rise to a new analysis of the development of reasoning, nature and history -- and these are areas of great concern to Unification Thought. Furthermore, Karl Marx developed his ideology based on a critique of Hegel's philosophy; it is significant, therefore, to critique Marx's critique and to present a new interpretation of Hegel. Such a task is being accomplished in Dr. Sang Hun Lee's book The End of Communism, published in Japanese and in English.

Hegel's philosophy represents a whole system, a complete worldview, just as does Unification Thought. In fact, Marxism has the same scope as well. At some point these worldviews need to be harmonized. It is the contention of this paper that Marxism and Hegelianism (in other words, Materialism and Idealism) can be unified in the integrated view of Unification Thought. On the other hand, the immensity of details contained in Hegel's works can be extremely useful for the development of Unification Thought.

Hegel believes that philosophy is an activity that purifies and frees the mind. He seeks to attain an absolute grounding for philosophy, an unconditioned beginning point. This, I believe, is also a goal sought by Unification Thought. Hegel's point of departure is not the everyday human understanding, but rather philosophical understanding. His system can be described as Absolute Idealism, which regards thought as fundamental in the world. He combines Idealism with Realism through his dialectical method: in other words, in Hegel the thought of the philosopher becomes identical with the objective development of reality.

In this paper I will attempt to show that the relationship between thought and reality differs whether we are talking about thought within the Creator's mind or within the human mind. Hegel's system -- I will attempt to demonstrate -- describes the process of thought in the mind of God, the Creator, but he uses a sort of evolutionary process in the formation of logos in the mind of God. This view contrasts with the view of Unification Thought, as shown below.

Interpretations of Hegel vary widely, from pantheism to a kind of theism that would be not very different from Christian thought. It will hardly be surprising if the interpretation proposed here is considered the result of misunderstanding or misreading Hegel. Hegelian scholars seem to be prone to consider that all other Hegelians have misunderstood or misread Hegel -- and perhaps not without good reason, since that can easily be done. Maker, for instance, contends that "Hegel has been largely misread by his students and misunderstood or ignored altogether by other philosophers who share certain common interests or themes with him." (Maker 1981, 344) The fact that Hegel can be so easily misunderstood represents, I believe, a serious deficiency in his system. If it is true, as Unification Thought contends, that "true knowledge, directly or indirectly, results in action, (EUT, 3) one would expect true knowledge to be easily and correctly understood by everyone so that the action resulting from it could be shared by everyone. In this paper I will assume this premise to be true and, since Hegel is not easily understood by everyone, this may be an indication that the Hegelian philosophical system is not exactly true knowledge, at least not in all of its aspects. Nevertheless, I believe that Hegel's philosophy has made an important contribution to the attainment of true knowledge. It may be well to pay heed to R. Rubenstein's advice to Unificationists, urging them to study Hegel and the German dialectical tradition carefully as a means to expand Unification Thought. (Rubenstein 1984, unpublished) I hope this paper is a step in that direction.

The Process of Creation

In Hegel's view, the process of creation has its roots in reality, where reality is viewed as fundamentally ideal. Hegel sees the whole of reality as an organic interconnecting system -- and this view contrasts with the general tendency prior to his time to look at reality as individual items assembled mechanically to form the universe. This kind of thinking gave rise to the dialectical method, which is a stage beyond the mechanistic method. Actually, Hegel's idealism can be seen as a defense of spontaneity and freedom against the empiricism that was prevalent during the Enlightenment. For Hegel, the process of creation initiates in the Spirit (Geist) and, through a process of contradiction, culminates in the Absolute Idea, where all contradictions are resolved. The essence of Spirit is freedom, which manifests itself at various levels. First, there is "subjective spirit," where Spirit finds freedom itself; then, there is "objective spirit," where freedom is found in the form of necessity and where the world of institutions and artifacts is created.

Finally, the highest stage reached, that of "Absolute Spirit," is where the levels of art, religion and philosophy are reached. For Hegel, thought and spirit are worthy of the highest reverence, even more than heart and love. He conceives of philosophy as a vision of right, ethics and history enlightened by thought. Reason plays the highest role in the process of creation, Hegel maintains. He declares that "Philosophy is the exploration of the rational" and "what is rational is actual and what is actual is rational."

For Hegel, the task of the philosopher is to study reality -- just as the physician, the botanist and the sociologist do in their own fields of specialization. He not only considers thought as belonging to the realm of reality, but also considers everything else, such as material things, as less real than thought, or idea, especially Absolute Idea. It is in this sense that some philosophers consider Hegel as a Realist rather than an Idealist. Hegel is concerned both with the universe of mind and the universe of nature. Reason represents both universes and is constituted by contradiction.

For Hegel, only the whole is real: separateness is unreal. Only the whole can be seen as the absolute. No predicate can be really true unless it is about reality as a whole. Single beings are determined by their own particular aspects, where each aspect needs other aspects. Though beings seem to be real in themselves, ultimately they are real only in the total process and in the inner activity of Idea.

This is in sharp contrast with the Unification Thought view. According to this view, all things were created according to images, or ideas, in God's mind. The ideas in God's mind are called the individual images of God and are located in God's Inner Hyung Sang. Each individual being is created according to the individual image in God's mind but that image changes in its relationship to the external environment. Thus, each being has a priori features as well as a posteriori features. The a priori features originate from the individual image in God's mind. These features relate to one another in the Inner Quadruple Base, forming correlative elements among themselves. Any being with an Inner Quadruple Base is called an Individual Truth Body -- and such a being can be said to resemble God.

Unification Thought also maintains that each being performs give-and-take action with other beings, thereby becoming a Connected Body. The reason is that each being has a dual purpose, namely, an individual purpose and a purpose for the whole. The fulfillment of the purpose for the whole comes in the form of an Outer Quadruple Base. (EUT, 76)

Hegel seems to place excessive emphasis on the connected aspect of being, emphasizing only the importance of the whole, in contras to the aspect of individuality. Such a view is distorted and does not take into account the importance of the individual in the context of the whole. In Unification Thought, both the individual purpose and the purpose for the whole must be fulfilled completely in order for an individual to reach complete development. The purpose for the whole must guarantee the fulfillment of the individual purpose and the individual purpose must be in line with the purpose for the whole. Undue stress placed on either side will result in costly mistakes. The purpose for the whole plays a subjective role and the individual purpose plays an objective role. When the purpose for the whole is unduly emphasized, that view may become a tool for the propagation of absolutism and totalitarianism. That may very well have been the case with Hegel.

Hegel's ideas about the material world must be seen in the context of ideas about nature of the late 18th century and early 19th century. It seems that a fundamental purpose in Hegel's way of thinking was to demonstrate physical reality through the exclusive use of logical reasoning. Nature, as opposed to thought, is conceived as externality. Hegel, however, does not seem to establish the basis upon which externality has come to occur. Nature is conceived of as the manifestation of the Idea in the form of 'Otherness.' In a world in which we now know that matter (the external world) is closely related to energy, questions about the appearance of external reality become questions about the origin of energy. This point is addressed explicitly in Unification Thought.

More fundamental than the question about energy is the question about the fundamental substance of the universe. Unification Thought suggests an approach to answering that question in the "Theory of the "Original Image." The origin of the universe is God, who has the "dual characteristics" according to the Principle of Creation of the Unification Principle.

God's Original Image contains a Divine Image and a Divine Character, and the Divine Image contains Sung Sang and Hyung Sang, positivity and negativity, and Individual Image. The Divine Character contains Heart, Logos and Creativity. God's Original Sung Sang is God's mind; His Original Hyung Sang is the attribute that constitutes the fundamental cause of the material aspect of all existing beings. The Original Hyung Sang can be called pre-energy or pre-matter. Therefore, from the Unification Thought point of view, in the beginning there was God with all of His attributes; but the most fundamental attribute: is Heart. In a certain sense, then, one can say that in the beginning was Heart, with purpose.

Unification Thought emphasizes the point that Sung Sang and Hyung Sang must share something in common so that a give-and-take action may occur between them. In other words, the origin of the universe contains both a material element (pre-energy or pre-matter) and a spiritual element. Sung Sang (Spirit) and Hyung Sang (matter) relate to each other as subject and object and exist from the beginning in the Origin.

In Hegel, an important distinction exists between Absolute Idea and Absolute Spirit -- but that distinction is not always very clear. The Idea existed before creation; it largely parallels the concept of Logos in Unification Thought. The Idea develops through the concept, which is will, and through content, which is the embodiment of concept in the realm of the finite. Spirit (Geist), or Mind, is the only reality in the true sense. A fundamental feature of Spirit is freedom, which implies self-consciousness. Hegel maintains that nothing that is partial or finite can be wholly free. Since Spirit is free, it must therefore be infinite; at the same time it must be self-conscious. Spirit is the actual Idea -- that is, the idea at that one particular stage of history. In the final stage, the process of self-development of the Idea will reach its perfection through the spirit of the time, coming to its final stage through the state, which is eternal life made actual. In that stage, the Idea is represented by Spirit, in the sense that both of them reach infinity, beyond time and history. This is the level of the Absolute Idea (which is thought thinking about itself), or Absolute Spirit.

In order to formulate a contrast between Unification Thought and Hegel's philosophy, it will be well to introduce three different kinds of process described in Unification Thought. The first is the process of the creation of Logos in the mind of God; the second is the process of creation of the material world following the pattern established Logos, the third is the process of knowledge acquisition by the human mind (described in "Epistemology" of EUT).

According to Unification Thought, Logos represents the Word uttered by God (EUT, 24). Logos is an object of God and is created with dual characteristics in the image of God. Logos has a monostratic nature -- in other words, it is created with a single layer. This means that the first creation in the mind of God, namely, Logos, is created complete in its first moment with every single aspect and every single detail included from the beginning. This contrasts with Hegel's view that the beginning moment of the dialectical process is 'being,' which is very close to the idea of nothingness.

According to Unification Thought, Logos is the beginning point in the process of creation. It is a complete image (or idea), with every detail included. This image is the image of God and it is the pattern according to which human beings are created. Through a process of simplification, the initial Logos is changed into simpler forms whereby the ideas of lower forms of beings are created. This is the process of simplification whereby certain specific characteristics of the initial Logos are taken out; it is not identical with the process of negation described by Hegel. By following this process, God was able to create individual images for every single being, including the lowest kinds of existing beings. Thus, Unification Thought claims that individual ideas for every existing being are present in the mind of God -- specifically in the Inner Hyung Sang of God.

The creation of the material world -- as described by Unification Thought -- follows a different pattern. Here, what came into existence first were the simplest beings, namely, light or energy. (EUT, 10-13) From energy -- and following the process described by Einstein according to the formula E=mc2 -- it was possible to create more complex forms of being. Therefore, the process of the creation of the material world follows a reverse course when compared with the process of the creation of Logos. If it can be said that Logos is created in a 'top-down' fashion, then the material world is created in a 'bottom-up' fashion.

Another process described by Unification Thought is that of knowledge acquisition. This process seems to be of the 'bottom-up' kind, similar in some ways to the process of the creation of the material world. Knowledge acquisition begins with rather simple pieces of information and expands to increasingly more complex forms. The goal of knowledge acquisition is to recreate Logos in the mind of God.

Hegel fails to distinguish among the three processes described by Unification Thought. The progress of Idea described by Hegel suggests a sort of evolutionary process in the creation of Logos, whereby the initial idea is empty and acquires content little by little until it reaches the level of Absolute Idea. % ft Such a process does not account for the existence of heart or purpose in the creation of Logos or in the creation of the material world. This is a great weakness in the Hegelian system. Hegel's Absolute Spirit 7 seems to correspond to some aspect of God's Sung Sang -- namely, reason. For Hegel, reason is the cause of the universe, the starting point. For Unification Thought, the starting point can be identified with heart/purpose Of course, this is simplifying matters, because the starting point of the created world is God Himself, with all of His attributes. Heart, however, is the most fundamental of God's attributes. Heart lies deeper than intellect, emotion and will, and can be described as the emotional impulse to seek joy through love. (EUT, 21) It is an impulse that wells up from the bottom of the mind and is irrepressible, even for God Himself. Heart is expressed through true love, which is centered on God. This leads to the experience of true joy in the unity between subject and object. Heart is different from emotions in the sense that heart is causal and emotions are resultant. Every action springs forth from Heart; fallen man, however, is not aware that true joy can be obtained through love and, therefore, seeks to obtain it through material things, power, knowledge and so forth, and this is the cause of many problems in society.

For Hegel, reason plays a decisive role in the process of the development of the world. Reason is a self-explanatory principle; the reason of the world (the universal) is a principle from which the world flows as a logical consequent, so that it becomes possible to deduce the world from reason. Reason is contrasted with understanding, in the sense that understanding is abstract, or formal thinking, pre-dialectical or static -- whereas reason is dialectical. Salaquarda (unpublished, 1984) disagrees with such a description of Hegel's view, claiming that heart, purpose and love play important roles in the Hegelian philosophical system. Perhaps that was the case in the writings of young Hegel; as he matured however, reason came to play a much more decisive role.

Hegel maintains that the authentically human is characterized by thought.) Reason as a whole is given as the source and foundation of the world. 'Heart' is what someone is, not what the person is at the moment, but what the person is in general, Hegel maintains. In other words, Heart is someone's character. This view differs from the Unification position where Heart is considered the "emotional impulse to seek joy through love." Stace explains Hegel's views as follows:

...the first principle of the world, the Absolute, the source from which all things flow, is the universal. And the universal is to be regarded as the reason of the world, from which the world flows as a logical consequent, so that it ought to be possible to deduce the world from it. (Stace 1955, 56)

In this context, one can grasp Hegel's view that philosophy, as human endeavor, is not really in a position to project the future, but rather to understand more deeply that which has already occurred in history. Knowledge of the Absolute Idea is unique in and for itself; Idea is both what knows and what is known. Hegel points out that,

to comprehend what is, this is the task of philosophy, because what is, is reason....if his theory really goes beyond the world as it is and builds an ideal one as it ought to be, that world exists indeed, but only in his opinions, as unsubstantial elements where anything you please may, in fancy, be built. (PR, 11-12)

In the context of Hegelian thought, man is regarded as just another member of creation. All things have come to exist by accident, without any special purpose or reason, before the appearance of man. Upon appearing in the world, man has come to utilize things, since they happened to be available to him. Of course, Hegel mentions that man can become the subject of creation and reach freedom through his membership in the nation-state, which represents the actualization of ethical life.

Nevertheless, this contrasts with the Unification Thought view that man was created from the beginning with the purpose of becoming the subject of creation; in other words, man represents a special kind of creation, and all other created beings have been created for man. Therefore, the Unification Thought view has a much broader scope than the Hegelian view and includes that view.

Hegel's philosophy can be seen as a pioneer for Unification Thought. His ideas, however, are based on philosophical speculations and are held together by a brilliant intellectual scaffolding, the result of the application of his dialectic to nature and history. Though incomplete, Hegel has made an essential contribution to mankind in its search for truth.

The Dialectical Way of Thinking

Hegel defines Idea (Idee) as "the concept become concrete, the unity of subject and object, of form and content." Hegel explains that "just as the thought of a thing, when viewed concretely, is the concept, so the concept, viewed concretely (i.e., in its truth, in its full development, and so in synthesis with the content which it gives to itself), is the Idea," (PR, ix) The concrete concept is established through systematic reasoning and is already contained in reasoning. The thought of the philosopher becomes parallel with the objective development of reality, where reality is the self-development of the thought. Again, Hegel stresses that only the rational is real.

Hegel became famous for his dialectical method, where he describes the thinking process in the stages of thesis-antithesis-synthesis. This is the core of his dialectical method. In the moment of the thesis it is assumed that the Absolute is 'pure being'; the Absolute just is, without any qualities. In the moment of antithesis the Absolute is seen as 'nothingness.' Next/ the union of 'being' and 'nothingness' produces the third moment, namely synthesis, where the Absolute is 'becoming.'

For Hegel, errors can creep into a thinking process through incompleteness and abstraction -- and these are symptoms that can be recognized by the contradictions they generate. Through the dialectical way

of thinking, philosophers can identify and overcome the sources of error, while maintaining all the good points contained in partial views. So, the dialectical method leads to emphasizing contradictions as a means of discarding errors and preserving truth.

A question may be raised here with regard to development. According to Hegel, Spirit develops according to the dialectical process and reaches the stage of Absolute Spirit at the level of synthesis. Does this mean that development comes to an end? From the point of view of Hegel's theory itself, it seems that this should be the case. In other words, the Hegelian theory does not seem to allow sufficient theoretical room for eternal growth and development -- a problem that is shared by Marxist ideology, where development also seems to come to an end at some point in history.

This is different from the view proposed by Unification Thought with regard to development. According to the Unification Principle The Purpose of Creation is the realization of the world of God's ideal, where joy abounds for the creator and the creation. In other words, when the Purpose of Creation is fulfilled, the world of ideal begins in the true sense; true history begins. The fulfillment of the Purpose of creation represents the beginning of eternal development, where joy for God, man and the creation abounds.

The Hegelian dialectical method represents a description both of the thinking and of the development of the world. It is the eternal reason realizing itself in man's thought. It is based on the assumption that enough is known about a thing so as to distinguish it from all other things, that all its properties can be inferred by logic. This is the foundation of the whole, imposing edifice of the Hegelian system.

The dialectical process of development described by Hegel is similar to the process of creation of the Logos in God's mind (i.e., God's Sung Sang) according to Unification Thought. There are, however, two fundamental differences(First Unification Thought stresses the Law of Give-and-Take Action rather than the dialectical method. According to this law, a subject and an object can be unified into one when they are centering on a common purpose and are engaged in give-and-take action around that common purpose. The law of give-and-take action is considered the Heavenly Law, in Unification Thought, the law that governs and holds together the whole universe.

The second difference between Hegel and Unification Thought is that Hegel sees development as initiating from the least determinate being and ending in the most determinate being. For Unification Thought, development at the level of Logos starts from the most determinate and progresses to the least determinate./The beginning point of development is God's mind, which is heart/purpose. Heart is the beginning point of love, the root of love. Unification Thought views heart as the fundamental motivation for God's creation.

In other words, if God did not have heart, He might have never created the world -- when creation is viewed from the perspective of motivation. Heart is the emotional impulse to seek joy through love. When heart moves to attain its goal it becomes purpose. Purpose then, is heart with intention. The first creation in the mind of God is Logos! Logos is centered on purpose; in other words, it includes intention. Logos is the image of God; the incarnation of Logos appears in the visible substantial world as man and woman Logos, therefore, is a most determinate development. Based on the Logos, and following the process of simplification, the logos for other created beings is formed.

This point of view is different from Hegel's description of the progress of Spirit, which begins with the least determinate and progresses to the most determinate idea. Again, it is well to recall that three processes should carefully be distinguished here -- namely, the process whereby Logos is created, the process of the creation of the material world and the epistemological process of knowledge acquisition. I believe a more thorough understanding of Hegel will have to sort out these three different processes; this, perhaps, accounts for the difficulty one has in understanding Hegel's philosophy.

Another weak point in Hegel's view is the matter of motivation for development. Through the dialectical method Hegel describes the laws governing development and claims that development occurs through opposition, conflict, tension and contradiction. This process supposedly takes place within the realm of reason, which is seen as the source of dialectical thinking. Is reason identical with God? This point is not clearly established in Hegel, I believe.

For Unification Thought, reason is not the motivation, but rather the means for accomplishing the purpose of creation. The motivation for creation is Heart, which is the most essential attribute of God. Hegel's system can be seen as an attempt at describing the whole universe as spinning forth from rational, logical laws. The discoveries of modern physics have made such a point of view much less optimistic. Unification Thought views laws as only one aspect of the Logos whereby God created the universe. Another aspect -- and a more essential one -- is heart/purpose realizing itself in the pursuit of joy. Heart is based on law, but not restricted by it, just as creativity escapes the shackles of laws. Laws and principles are important aspects of reason, but so is freedom, creativity and responsibility, which are based on heart. Unification Thought would question the view that the universe can be inferred from rational principles, and modern science would probably agree. The universe is discovered in its dynamic unfolding and, once discovered, it seems to escape any attempt at restricting it to any rational confinement. These are important elements for dealing with issues of good and evil, fallen history, fallen society, restoration process, etc. -- which are not considered in this paper, but represent important aspects of the Unification Principle.

In Hegel's view, the process of self-development of thesis-antithesis-synthesis is seen as necessary and not in any way contingent. It culminates in the necessary appearance of the rational state, which is seen as the actuality of the ethical Idea. This view is similar to Marx's interpretation of historical development, where history is said to progress according to well-established economic laws. Unification Thought would question such an interpretation of development, as discussed in the next section.

In the Hegelian dialectic, contradiction is a complex theme. When he deals with nature he speaks of 'opposition,' rather than 'contradiction.' Contradiction and opposition are welcome in the Hegelian system, where different categories compete with one another and where the results of that competition are seen as better than any one of the competing elements.

It is not clear what Hegel means by opposition and contradiction. It seems certain that these terms do not mean the same as in logic, neither do they mean the same as the Marxian concept of contradiction. Hegel points out that in every being there are elements that cohere and elements that conflict, but he fails, I believe, to propose an adequate basis for the difference between them.

Unification Thought would see purpose, or heart, as the fundamental difference between elements that cohere and elements that conflict. Every being has an individual purpose and a purpose for the whole, as discussed before. When viewed from the aspect of individual purpose, beings could be viewed as conflicting, but when viewed from the aspect of the purpose for the whole, beings can be seen as cohering, harmonizing and complementing one another.

The most essential step in the process of unification is the discovery of a common purpose. Consider, for example, the various religions.

Each religion, according to Unification Thought, represents an aspect of God's Original Image. As such, religions should accept one another's existence, respect one another and cooperate with one another.

When religions become aware of their individual limitation as expressions of limited aspects of God's nature, they may realize that they need one another and may become open to cooperating with one another. This is the basis for the unification of religions.

The process of unification of cultures follows a similar pattern. Each culture represents an individual aspect of the original human nature. Thus, they have the common purpose of expressing the totality of human nature; in order to fulfill that purpose they need to engage in the process of give-and-take action among themselves. This can happen only when a clear view of the original human nature is shared by everyone. The Unification Thought Movement seeks to present a clear view of original human nature and, in doing so, it is contributing to the unification of cultures. It is important to realize, however, that a complete picture of the original human nature must be based on a correct understanding of the nature of God, since man is the image of God.

The same applies to the unification of science and the unification of language. The sciences and the languages can be seen as reflecting specific aspects of the universe. If a clear perception of the true nature of the universe is attained, it is possible to realize that the various branches of science and the various languages of the world express specific aspects of the totality of the universe. Such a realization will make it possible to harmonize the various branches of science and the various languages of the world, so that the unification of science and of language can take place. The same process applies to all other fields of knowledge. A clear picture of the universe is based on a clear picture of man, which is based on a clear picture of God. This, I believe, is the reason why Unification Thought places so much stress on a clear understanding of God's "Original Image."

The views proposed by Unification Thought are only possible because Unification Ontology includes the concept of heart/purpose. In this context it becomes apparent that the concept of reason proposed by Hegel needs to be expanded by Heart/purpose proposed by Unification Thought.

The Spirit in History

According to Hegel, the "Absolute Spirit" develops itself in history and its self-development leads to the progress of world-history until history reaches its final stage in the nation-state. Civil society represents a moment in the progress of history, which is needed in order to build the modern state. Hegel apprehends the concept of state merely descriptively without any projection onto the future. The state is a spiritual reality, since it is considered as "the actuality of the ethical Idea." This spiritual representation, however, occurs only on an external level, since the main task of the state is to organize and moderate particular interests, needs, rights, and duties. For Hegel, right is "an existent of any sort embodying free will." Right is the "restriction which makes it possible for my freedom or self-will to co-exist with the self-will of each and all according to a universal law." Right is sacrosanct in the sense that it embodies the absolute concept and the self-conscious freedom. Freedom is an element of the will which "contains the element of pure indeterminacy or that pure reflection of the ego into itself which involves the dissipation of every restriction and every content either immediately presented by nature, by needs, desires and impulses or given and determined by any means whatever." The outcome of freedom is ethical life -- or its result, ethical order.

From the point of view of the individual, Hegel maintains that each individual needs to find truth and self-consciousness. He cautions us, however, that individuals and nations have no personality until they have achieved pure thought and self knowledge. Since, for Hegel, there is not truth except in the whole of reality, it follows that -- from an ethical point of view -- value lies in the whole rather than in its parts. The self-development of the Absolute Spirit is realized in the whole of reality and most expressively so in the nation-state.

Hegel contends that the history of the human race is a development from less to greater freedom and from less adequate forms of freedom to freedom in its perfection. He maintains that there is no freedom without law, where freedom is a process or a situation where individuals submit their private will to the laws of the state and to the rules of its free institutions. This is how individuals submit their persons to the control of reason. In conforming to the pressure, and in obeying the laws of the state, the individual achieves his own rational ends and in so doing is free.

For Hegel, love characterizes the family and is considered as the self-consciousness of unity and membership. Hegel defines ethical right as "the Idea of freedom in that on the one hand it is the good become alive -- the good endowed in self-consciousness with knowing and willing and actualized by self-conscious action -- while on the other hand self-consciousness has in the ethical realm its absolute foundation and the end which actuates its effort. Thus ethical life is the concept of freedom developed into the existent world and the nature of self-consciousness." (PR, 105)

According to Hegel, the goal of history is to reach the level of truth of Absolute Spirit, which is bound neither by the achievements and limitations of history nor by subjective and historical minds. Once history reaches its goal, objective mind becomes free and unites with the Absolute. The progress of mind -- and thus of history -- is realized through self-awareness which gives life to the mind. The deeper this knowledge is realized, the closer mind reaches abstract universality. Eventually mind overcomes the dialectical opposition between the objective world and the internal truth. World history is "court of judgment" in which the particular (objective world) and the movement of mind (internal truth) are dialectically moving towards the Absolute Spirit, the goal of history.

Just as nature is the development of Idea in space, history is the development of Spirit in time, according to Hegel. The necessary gradation, reflecting the successive phases of Spirit, represents the different steps in the development of the one universal Spirit and its completion is a self-comprehending totality. The present form of Spirit comprehends within it all earlier steps. Every stage of history unfolds itself in succession, independently. What Spirit is, it has always been essentially. Distinctions are only a stage in the development in the essential nature of Spirit. The life of the ever present Spirit is a circle of progressive embodiments; when looked at from one point of view, they exist side by side with one another, and when looked at from another point of view, they appear as past.

The function of man in history is not clearly established in the Hegelian philosophical system. On the one hand, it seems that Hegel sees Reason as working itself out in the history of mankind; on the other hand, Hegel seems to account for the human element in history when he allows the influence of passion in historical events. It seems well established that the force moving history is the Absolute Spirit, which manifests itself in the visible form of nature and then develops into human beings. Man is seen as one of the manifestations of the Absolute Spirit. The outcome of history appears as a necessity of the self-development of the Absolute Spirit (the Idea).

The Hegelian view of the Absolute Spirit manifesting itself in history has remarkable parallels in Unification Thought. Nevertheless, there are important differences to be pointed out. Hegel seems to place excessive emphasis on the whole rather than the individual and this is a point of view that can easily be misused or abused, as mentioned earlier.

Furthermore, Hegel seems to place very little emphasis on love, happiness, joy and heart in the development of the Absolute Spirit in history. The realm of love, in Hegel, seems to be restricted to the realm of family, whereas in Unification Thought love is extended to all levels of society. Also, the term 'passion' in Hegel seems to have a rather objectionable connotation, something related to greed and ambition. This is very different from desire, as understood by Unification Thought. Desire, in Unification Thought, is fundamentally good and crucially important for the fulfillment of the Purpose of Creation. Through desire, heart fulfills itself. In fallen society, however, human desire finds itself going in opposite directions, namely, a good and an evil direction. It is in this context that we can talk about evil desires, passions, greed -- all of which need to be suppressed. Nevertheless, the fundamental nature of desire is good and relates to the fulfillment of the purpose of heart.

Hegel's idea of the self-development of the Absolute Spirit does not account for the element of responsibility on the part of individual human beings, neither does it account for the existence of evil and suffering in human history. If that idea is accepted, it may be misused as a rationalization of suffering, crime and sin in human history. It is likely that the attitude of many Christians during the beginning stages of the Industrial Revolution -- where so much human suffering was caused by callousness on the part of industrialists -- may have been based on such views as these proposed by Hegel. If the world is just a manifestation of the Absolute Spirit in its self-development, then there is no point worrying about injustices and suffering.

Karl Marx took a different point of view and posited the existence of objective economic laws guiding the progress of history, where the material conditions of society become the important, decisive factor in historical development. In this context, the Marxist view is closer to that proposed by Hegel than a superficial reading would indicate.

According to Unification Thought, the goal of history is the fulfillment of the purpose of creation -- that is, the establishment of the world in which God's ideal is totally fulfilled. In order for that to be accomplished, there are three factors that need to come together and cooperate towards the same goal. The first factor is God's Divine Providence working through history. The second factor is the response given by human beings to God's providential work. The third factor is the external material conditions which are a foundation for the establishment of God's ideal.

Hegel's view of the goal of history raises rather than answers questions. His concept of nation-state leaves much to be desired in a world in which many seek to establish a "global village," or a "one world family" for humanity as a whole. Also, Hegel does not describe in any way the motivation for the self-development of the Absolute Spirit, as mentioned earlier.

The Unification Principle distinguishes two ways of looking at the goal of human history. First, the original goal of human history is the construction of the Kingdom of Heaven, both on earth and in the spirit world; second, the present goal of human history -- in other words, the goal of history after the human fall -- is the restoration of fallen man back to the original ideal as an intermediary step towards the construction of the Kingdom of Heaven on earth and in the spirit world. It is clearly established that any development toward that goal can only be accomplished through a cooperative give-and-take action between God and man whereby man fulfills the human portion of responsibility.

Fundamentally, there are three essential elements in the development of history: 1) God's providential work, 2) the fulfillment of the human portion of responsibility, and 3) sufficient material conditions. Hegel emphasizes the first element and Marx emphasizes the third element. Unification Thought brings to bear the human portion of responsibility and integrates the three elements in a single view. For this reason, Unification Thought can be said to be the unification of Idealism and Materialism; also, it can be seen that Hegel needs to be expanded by Unification Thought.

An Integrated View

For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. (ICor. 13:12)

The task of integrating Hegel with Unification Thought is an awesome one, but an unavoidable one -- if indeed Unification Thought is what it claims to be, namely, the culmination of all thoughts that have appeared in human history. What strikes one in studying Hegel is the many ambiguities and uncertainties that pervade his works. Indeed, the study of Hegel seems like seeing things through a glass, darkly; it is hoped that the study of Unification Thought is like seeing face to face.

On one hand, Hegel maintains that only Infinite Spirit is real, but on the other hand, he also maintains that Infinite Spirit cannot be distinct from the finite. Such a view has raised many questions in the minds of Hegel's students, especially whether Hegel can be called a theist or not. By contrast, the "Theory of the Original Image" in Unification Thought provides a theoretical framework from which to understand the relationship between the creator and created beings. As seen before, the Creation contains the dual characteristics of Sung Sang (mind) and Hyung Sang (pre-matter). The difficulty relating to a correct understanding of Hegel's ideas, I believe, lies in the fact that Hegel attempts to describe the whole of reality within a partial theoretical framework -- which in Unification Thought could be called God's Sung Sang, or God's mind.

When Hegel says that only spirit (Geist), is real, he is confining the level of reality to the world of Logos within the mind of God, according to Unification Thought. Unification Thought maintains the reality both of Logos (the first stage of creation) and the material world (the second stage of creation). The foundation for reality of the material world -- the phenomenal world -- lies in God's Hyung Sang (pre-energy or pre-matter). In Unification Thought, Idealism and Realism become unified.

Hegel also claims that Spirit manifests itself through individual entities seeking higher and higher forms of complexity and mutual integration. This view raises questions about the purpose of complexification and integration, which are not answered in Hegel's work, I believe. Unification Thought, in contrast, presents a clear view of the Purpose of Creation -- which is the construction of the Kingdom of Heaven on earth and in the spirit world. In that sense, it could be said that Spirit (i.e., God manifesting Himself through His Logos) is seeking to express itself in increasingly complex forms in the substantial world. Furthermore, Unification Thought distinguishes between the creator and the creation, and between Logos (first-stage creation) and the substantial world (second-stage creation). This may help to clarify difficulties and ambiguities in Hegel's thought.

When Unification Thought is contrasted with Hegel, it would be incorrect to place Heart and Reason in opposition. Heart and Reason are in complementary relationship, in the sense that Heart fulfills its purpose through reason. Unification Thought contrasts with Hegel in the same sense as the whole contrasts with its parts, and also in the same sense that Hegel's ambiguities can be clarified in the framework of Unification Thought.

Hegel maintains that a fundamental feature of Spirit is freedom; in contrast, Unification Thought maintains that the most essential aspect of God is Heart. Again, this is only a matter of integrating rather than contrasting. I believe a better expression of this point would be to say that God's nature is essentially Heart (the emotional impulse to seek joy through love) and a fundamental feature of Heart is freedom.

This raises a question with regard to the self-development of the Spirit in the substantial world. Hegel indicates that the self-development of Spirit is realized according to the dialectical process and unfolds itself into the stage of Absolute Spirit -- the rational nation-state. Within Hegel's theoretical framework it becomes difficult to harmonize the fact that the essential nature of Spirit is freedom and the fact that the self-development of Spirit occurs according to the dialectical process. In contrast, Unification Thought presents the idea of Logos as being the unity of reason and law. Such a framework seems better able to explain reality and also may help to clarify Hegel's own ideas.

The difficulty of Hegel's dialectical method, I believe, is connected with the fact that he failed to establish a clear view of the purpose of every being. I would venture to say that Hegel's description of the dialectical process is a rather "external" description of reality; when reality is examined from a more "internal" point of view, the process of integration or connection of beings is seen as following a pre-determined purpose inherent in every being. Thus, upon clarifying the existence of both an individual purpose and a whole purpose, the so-called dialectical method can be seen as the give-and-take law, as in Unification Thought. Once again, Unification Thought encompasses Hegelian thought and clarifies it.

In his view of history, Hegel fails to present a framework that can account for the reality of evil and suffering in human society. In contrast, Unification Thought both presents a clear view of the purpose of history and indicates clearly why crimes and suffering have existed in human history while, at the same time, showing how God is working in human history to solve crime and suffering. Furthermore, Unification Thought presents a much more thorough account of human responsibility in human history -- becoming therefore a living thought that can inspire people into action.

While arguing that the history of man progresses in a similar fashion as the history of his thought, Hegel failed to indicate 1) why human thought has progressed in history as it has, 2) why human history sometimes takes on a cyclical shape, whereby great civilizations have quickly disappeared, and 3) why only in Hegel's time was a system such as his able to be developed. Such questions are not at all idle if we consider that there were times in human history when civilization was very high, and then those very civilizations came to collapse -- such as happened to the Roman Empire.

Unification Thought presents a much better theoretical framework from which to assess these historical realities. According to the Unification Principle, God has been working in history to restore fallen man back to the original ideal and has been sending "central figures" at various points of historical development. When the central figure of a certain time fulfills his portion of responsibility, history progresses to a new level; if the central figure fails to fulfill his portion of responsibility history regresses and God has to again set up a new foundation for the future. This is simply to indicate that Hegel has oversimplified the historical process and cannot account for the variety of historical phenomena. Here, again, Hegel should be seen in the context of Unification Thought.

A question is often raised with regard to the fact that Hegel placed philosophy above religion in his dialectical scale. In my opinion, this is probably an area in which Unification Thought would agree with Hegel, but perhaps not for the same reasons. Unification Thought views itself as the "Heavenly Thought," or the thought of God for the ideal of creation. Religion is seen as a manifestation of the Principle of Restoration, which represents principles and laws for restoring fallen man back to the original ideal. In other words, according to original thought for creation, religion could be seen as a secondary plan, the necessity of which came about after the human fall, as a response to the history of sinfulness. If philosophy culminates in Unification Thought, then it can be seen as superior to religion, from that point of view.

The freedom offered by Hegel is based on reason, that is, in the thinking process whereby an individual becomes free because he remains completely within himself alone. This path of freedom, however, may lead to a lifestyle similar to that proposed by the stoics and -- further down -- to skepticism. In contrast, the freedom proposed by Unification Thought is based on true love. Individuals are to grow to complete maturity by following the Principle and God's commandment. Upon reaching complete maturity (or perfection) individuals come into the "direct dominion" of God's love, the realm of complete freedom. Such a realm of complete freedom has never been experienced in human history (since human history has been the history of crime and sinfulness). The process of restoration (or salvation) can be described as the process of liberation towards the realm of freedom based on God's direct dominion of love. Thus, it is only natural that man seeks to live in freedom and here Unification Thought would agree with Hegel. But Hegel's thought needs to be expanded to include the realm of true love under the direct dominion of God's love. Only in love can true freedom be experienced.

Finally, reason and heart. In the Hegelian system, reason seems to be a complex concept including purpose, freedom and laws. What Unification Thought has done is to clarify the notion of reason. The most essential attribute of God (or Geist, as Hegel would put it) is Heart. Heart is an emotional impulse to seek joy through love, an irrepressible impulse that seeks its fulfillment. Heart, however, lies deep within God's mind and as such, can be described as part of God's mind itself. In the concept of reason two elements are distinguished in Unification Thought: the Inner Sung Sang and the Inner Hyung Sang. The Inner Sung Sang corresponds to intellect, emotion and will whereas the Inner Hyung Sang corresponds to laws, mathematical principles and ideas. In order for reason to be activated and to start a creative process, however, it must be moved by Heart/Purpose. Therefore, Unification Thought includes the idea of heart and purpose in Logos, the first stage of creation.

Thus, when correctly understood, many of Hegel's ideas can be harmonized with Unification Thought. The Hegelian ideas, however, may sometimes be misunderstood and may cause damage, because of dangerous ambiguities. Unification Thought may be seen as the roots and Hegel's philosophy may be seen as branches, leaves and fruits. If the two are harmoniously integrated, the world will see a great system of philosophical thought.


Knox, T.M. Hegel's Philosophy of Right (PR). NY: Oxford University Press, 1967. Maker, William. "Understanding Hegel Today." Journal of the History of Philosophy. 1981, Vol. XIX, No. 3. 343-75.

Rubenstein, Richard L. "Unification Thought and the Critique of Capitalism and Communism." (Unpublished), 1984.

Salaquarda, Joerg. "Unification Thought and Continental Philosophy of the Modern Age." (Unpublished), 1984.

Explaining Unification Thought (EUT). Compiled by Dr. Sang Hun Lee. NY: Unification Thought Institute, 1981. 

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