Hermeneutics and The Shape of the Future - Edited by Frank K. Flinn
When one considers with what intensity and exclusiveness not only Christ's teaching, but the doctrines of the Church in the following centuries down to the present day, have emphasized the goodness of the loving Father in heaven, the deliverance from fear, the Summum Bonum, and the privatio boni, one can form some conception of the incompatibility which the figure of Yahweh presents, and see how intolerable such a paradox must appear to the religious consciousness. And this has probably been so ever since the days of Job. -- C.G. Jung, Answer to Job1
This essay* is addressed to Jung's paradox, to the psychic and narrative tension that must always be present in stories about God: the line of tension that runs between the account of his nature and the account of his acts. However, we want to deal with the Godstory -- the historical narrative of God's doings in the world -- in Divine Principle, not in connection with the archetypes, or with the conventions of religious symbology, or with the psychology of religious states as mirrored in religious narrative, but rather, with its ideology, with its character as an incentive and rationale for human acts. This is clearly not the only way, or even the best way, to approach a story of this kind, but it has the advantage of permitting us to begin with the naive questions of the chronicler, or the hearer of a report, or the reader of a fiction: What kind of story is this? Why does the main character behave the way he does? What sort of person would tell a story like this one? What does he expect me to do?
The method is that of comparative literature rather than sociology. We are not interested in whether or not anyone actually behaves in a certain way from reading Divine Principle. What we want to know is whether by discovering the type of story it is, we may identify some quality of moral experience implicit in the telling of it, and not accessible in any other way. It is necessary to say this, because raising the banner of ideology may signify to some that what we are about to do is relate recommended actions to tangible ends. But telling a story may be a means not related to such ends at all, but rather to the identification of basic values, and to the orientation of people in time by means of the story. The recommended action is in this case symbolic action. But such acts are real acts, and have moral value. I should say that the ideological meaning of a religious story is its tendency to make people interpret the data of the world in terms provided by the story, to a greater or lesser exclusion of other interpretations.
It is not easy, however, to say what the terms of a story are that are peculiar to it. Religious stories not only contain explicit claims to privileged understanding but also contain narrative materials and moral preferences drawn from non-religious cultural systems, and from the unique psychological and moral situation of the storyteller. The man who says his God has a certain character, or acts out of a certain necessity, or is constrained in particular ways, declares a collective and personal sense of ideal action, of perfect rulership, of fatherhood, of admirable use of power, and so forth. It is not clear what is specifically religious in such judgments, or whether or not they serve purposes that are ideological in the usual sense. The religiously inspired history is an account of (divine) motivation in the ordering of time that directly expresses a sense of how historical time ought to be ordered. It is not a matter of indifference, therefore, whether or not a society of men is dominated by a particular historical myth. Belief is what divides men.
The unresolved, and unresolvable, problem of Divine Principle is the problem posed by the existence of a revealed history: To discourse of human societies in time is to invoke the essential moral ambiguity of all stories that are unfinished and incomplete. To discourse thus in the context of revealed religion is to deny the ambiguity, to pretend to see the end, and therefore to know what being in the present really means.
The time of Divine Principle is not the passive medium of the chronicler and the historian -- that mere metronome-beat on which the artist hangs his phrase. Time is rather an expressive mode, an active medium in which certain intentional structures of the world are displayed. Time, above all, is not civic time -- neither the temporal dimension of human action, nor the mode in which political society visualizes its origins and continuance. Time is disposed rather to satisfy intrinsic criteria of balance and rhythm.
The accompanying charts (figs. 1 and 2) conveniently summarize the teaching of Divine Principle respecting world history to the present. They each cover six thousand years of world history: two thousand years from Adam to Abraham, two thousand years from Abraham to Jesus, and the last two thousand years from Jesus to the Lord of the Second Advent. The first chart (fig. 1) emphasizes the durational structure of time according to a system of repetitions of numbers in sequences called time-identities. The second chart (fig. 2) stresses simultaneity of phenomena in time rather than durational structure. It shows the conflation of traditional-religious and modern-secular historical categories. The two thousand year dispensational sequences are here called providential ages, and are linked to political and economic cycles of a decidedly positivistic and Marxist-Leninist cast.
The rigidity and naivety of this scheme are obvious features. The numerology, based on twelve, four, twenty-one, forty, and their multiples, is explained in Divine Principle as a kind of code, a key to perfection implicit in the tripartite and quadripartite natural divisions of the world.2 All fresh movements towards completion must begin at the beginning of the sequence of numbers, which was determined by the first cycle. The completion of each sequence satisfies a temporal thousand year age, in which the next age is born.
The object of the system as a whole is restoration. History proper is the time between the fall of man and the restoration of man (and of creation) to the perfection which had been the birthright of Adam, and lost in the fall. There is an ambivalence in the system as a whole, in that it seems in some moods to point to a plan of growth in history towards consummation in which all the stages contribute cumulatively to the desired end, and in other moods to depict time looping back on itself in repetitive cycles. This distinction is manifest in the charts. The time-identity chart (fig. 1) has time unfolding from the figurative toward the substantial. Divine Principle (pp. 374-75) explicitly identifies the three stages "symbolic," "image" and "substantial," with formation, growth, and perfection. The chart from the "Standpoint of the Providence of Restoration" (fig. 2), on the other hand, reflects an understanding of time as flawed in its progress. The first age is "Foundation," the second is characterized as a direct movement to restoration, and the third is a "prolongation of restoration" -- more accurately characterizing the repetitions of forms, both social and chronological, visible in the third stage in both charts, and introducing a nore of defeat and anxiety of great psychological interest. The death of Jesus is here understood as a species of tragic failure, and not, as one might infer from the time-identity chart, a mere hinge in the fold of time.
What these charts do not in themselves reveal is the motive force that propels this tragic spiral movement, at once Polybian and Hegelian, towards the same endings over and over again, yet somehow towards a final ending. That force is indemnity, a principle of moral action and reaction in time. The idea is central to Unification thought and contains elements of both a juridical concept of retribution and the Christian concept of redemption. Indemnity is necessary because every evil act in the universe is an invasion by Satan of a position defined by God, and a perversion of that position into something of identical form but negative rather than positive in respect to restoration. An indemnity restores the original position. It removes a formal blockage in the dialectic of the divine economy. Indemnity is accomplished by re-assuming the position at the moment of transgression and doing it over again, doing it right. One person or group may do this for another, and at points far removed in time. The transaction, however, is not to be understood as involving transfers of personal merit; it is rather a question of initiating and completing a virtuous process.
This doctrine has many interesting consequences for Unificationist ethical teaching, but we should particularly notice two features that are related to a view of time and of history. The first has to do with the durational aspect of indemnification. This is the true significance of the numerological scheme of repetitions outlined above. One of the systems of restoration that Satan invades and perverts is the temporal aspect of the world and the sequential forms of time. To indemnify for this trespass is to re-do time. A retributive element is attached to Christian redemption which requires sacrifice but is not frequently thought of as possessing a durational requirement in this sense.
The other thing that is crucial for the Unification conception of history is that the next cycle, to bring around once more the appropriate conditions for restoration, must fulfill the failed portion of the mission of indemnification of the previous cycle, as well as its own mission. The job gets harder each time, and these heroic labors fall especially on the central figure of the end times, on the bearers of messiahship. Hence Jesus' intense sufferings, and hence the claim of Divine Principle that Sun Myung Moon, as putative Lord of the Second Advent, "endured suffering unimagined by anyone in human history."3
Structurally speaking, therefore, the time in which the world moves is neither altogether linear and progressive, nor is it altogether cyclical and stagnant. Each major age moves in an appointed arc forward to the grand consummation of all history, yet because of "human failure each age falls short of the potential of its own internal structure and leaves to the next age a double chore of indemnity. This grand Sisyphean spiral suggests the clear possibility of new failures, fresh starts, and other longues durees towards an elusive restoration.
Divine Principle is not the first occasion in the history of Christian thought in which extraordinary imaginative energy has been spent on eschatological speculation. It will be useful to dwell for a moment on the distinctive elements in this scheme that separate it to a degree from popular Protestant dispensationalism. That tradition is characterized by its very close attention to the prophetic books of scripture -- and consequently to the spectacular events of the coming end -- and relative indifference to the stages of world history since Christ. This latter age is The Dispensation of Grace, or something like it, and is punctuated by more or less unsuccessful revivals of the gospel. Divine Principle structures time partly in accordance with this scheme, but superimposes on it another one quire different in substance. In this other scheme, a wide variety of secular "events" -- the Renaissance, for example, or the two world wars of this century -- play an equally determinative role in the temporal economy, along with biblical events and the prophesied events of the last times. All events play a part in the cyclical return of spiritually and historically significant conditions.
What this conflation of religious and secular narratives does is prepare us for the magnitude of God's lordship in rime. We shall want to return to that and develop it fully. But we want to notice here briefly the effect of this conflation, not only of forms of narrative, but of rhetorical modes, on the authority of the narrative as a whole. There is a considerable gain in being able to speak in the same narrative voice about the beginning and the end, and the middle, but the price is very high. A coherent narrative is purchased at the cost of an incoherent doctrine of revelation. That is, while Divine Principle adds to sacred history by an implicit claim of privileged understanding, it does not explicitly claim to be scripture. Its claim is that it has discovered a principle by which significance can be ascribed to events in history. Yet by imposing a plan on sacred and secular history alike it would seem to require more than a narrative voice, but also an authenticating voice.
This is more than a matter of rhetoric in the common meaning of the word. Without a secure doctrine of revelation these powerful instruments are unsecured either in the canon, i.e., in the prescriptive immemonality of traditional historiography; or to the rigors of systematic doubt, i.e., to perpetual revisionism. By having it both ways, Divine Principle has it neither way. The believer is not quite free to revise the scheme of European and world history given in Divine Principle, because the given scheme is connected by a rigorous mythic-mathematical logic with revealed history, with the beginning and with the end. On the other hand not even the elements of traditional sacred history are altogether secure from revision, because critical method is let in the door by the inclusion in the general scheme of such notions as "Renaissance," or "Industrial Revolution" -- notions which are not events, but constructions applied to history by the application of critical method.
To summarize these remarks, we may say that the historical sections of Divine Principle are patched up of historiographical traditions that arose to serve distinct and quite different types of societies. While the bringing together of these elements is designed to create a new orientation in time for a new human community, the attempted synthesis does not produce a clear critical principle for that community's understanding of itself in time that is either fully Christian or fully scientific. There is no requirement that a system be either of these things -- much less that it be both -- but Divine Principle asserts as a fundamental achievement of the Principle the unification of Western science and Western religion.4
We have anticipated a conclusion that this essay will reach in respect to the Unification system generally. It is a system that seems to place a great deal of psychic stress on its adherents in the form of demands for the resolution of cultural dilemmas, and the reconciliation of cultural contradictions -- problems that are given in the complex fabric of Western culture but have ceased to sustain anxiety in Western populations. So insistent is the pressure of the Unification system that these resolutions and reconciliations be made, one must be led to ask whether the sustaining anxiety about cultural totality is not a primary feature of the personal commitment to Unificationism.
Surely here the medium is the message, the implacable and unitary structure of time is a mirror of the ideal soul. Divine Principle says that the structure of time flows from the nature of God himself! "God's form is... mathematical." Adam has therefore a "mathematical period of growth." And finally, man too is a prisoner of number: "Since the world of creation, as such, fell into Satan's dominion, man, in order to restore it, must restore through indemnity the foundation of faith, by... setting up the mathematical period of indemnity to restore the number invaded by Satan."5 All history is the manifest pattern of God's nature.
But there is another side to the character of God, and we must here quote the relevant passage in its entirety: "God, with a parental heart, full of sorrow over the loss of his children, has wandered in the sinful world to save the children of corruption. In order to save mankind, who had rebelled against him, God had his loving children sacrificed by Satan, finally suffering the sorrow of having to give his son, Jesus, to the cross. Therefore, since the fall of man up to the present day, God has grieved day after day, while any individual, home, or nation which has struggled against the satanic world for the will of God, has not been able to avoid the way of blood, sweat, and tears."6
Here is, if not a contradiction, certainly one of those dissonances of tone that, if we may liken imagery to music, demand resolution. It is not merely the commonplace irony of any soteriological scheme: the problem of God's power and the existence of evil. It is that the Unification system intensifies the irony. It positively savors the contradiction of image and action. God grieves in time -- he "wandered in the sinful world" -- because a principle of his nature requires time, the time in which evil persists.
Time in Divine Principle is thus profoundly psychological. God's acts in history are a struggle against Satan, in time, but also an inner struggle, beyond rime, with defeat, loss, and irresolution, and of which time is itself the expression. We should dwell on the highly significant phrase "age of the prolongation of restoration" which is the designation given in Divine Principle to the whole of the Christian era until the present. God's will, which is to restore the conditions of love and obedience centered on himself in the Garden of Eden, is stymied in his own elaborate preconditions for satisfaction.
This interest in the psychology of God, in God's feelings, is rich in social meaning. Feeling commonly authenticates social action; feeling gives moral meaning to social behavior. At a certain level we might say that the fatherly caring of God is postulated to subvert the evidence that he does not care for people at all.
The figure of Yahweh -- an archaic Semitic king like an image of Rouault's, unconscious of moral and psychological distinctions, yet deeply conscious of an obscure self-interest -- this figure which was for Jung a fact of the human soul, a property of the collective unconscious, lurks about this self-consciously optimistic text. Yahweh is Freud's id, the raging ancestor of consciousness. Yahweh is the profound symbol of the beginning of man's creation of himself in culture! The original motive is forgotten, the end is unclear, but the pursuit of means is obsessive and inescapable. This primitive Yahweh does not enter directly into the present text. Divine Principle is a rationalized and tidied God-story in a long tradition of such glosses. It is the Father-God that smiles from these pages, but the berserker is not far behind. The reconciliation of these images is the normal function of stories about God.
The story of God in Divine Principle does not take place in the common-sense time of critical history, or in the legendary time of tribal history -- although the text invokes and conflates these -- but rather in the privileged time of indemnity-restoration, a time created especially to contain a character like God. It is the time that makes plausible just such an ideal figure. We may say that God makes time, or God is the prisoner of time, but in truth the storyteller makes both God and time, and fits them each for the other. We may only say about God what the story confers on him. First of all, the most extraordinary power that people can imagine, the power to create the time that others wait in. Next to this, the material creation, or the restoration of that creation, are bagatelles. Because the creation of dispensation time, of time that marks time, of waiting-time, is the creation of expectation, of hope, of disappointment, of feeling. Secondly, the story wants to convey that the creator of time binds himself to it, that the outcome of time has consequences for himself, that he takes risks. Absolute power and personal risk are in a certain sense illogically joined, but they are dramatically psychologically appropriate. Let us say that the story is about authority and responsibility, about
I should like here to adduce two examples from European literature for comparison -- not because they are in any way influences on the present text, or comparable in any usual literary or historical sense, but because they illuminate the question of narrative form, and because they are about rulers and about time.
The first of these is Measure for Measure. The tale Shakespeare appropriated and developed in his play is the popular legend of the good ruler who, in order to inquire into the true state of justice in his realm, travels for a time incognito, mingling with his subjects and learning of their sorrows at first hand.
We need not insist on the archetypal character of this story; it is the inevitable projection into narrative of the reasonable wish that the forces which have power over us, should be both informed of our situation and our feelings, and if possible experience them. True justice is felt to rest in sympathetic feeling, and in these stories the solution is realized by reducing the distance between the actor and the judge of action.
At the opening of the play, the Duke of Vienna, ostensibly on a foreign mission, leaves his city in the care of a trusted, but rigidly legalistic subordinate, Angelo. Secretly he plans to move unrecognized among his people in order to test them. The duke has determined that his people need to feel the whip-hand of a stricter regime for a time, since they have grown slack in virtue. However since their love of himself is essential to the welfare of the state, it were better that another take the odium of harsh government. The Duke disguises himself as a friar to see what will happen when Angelo takes command.
The source of disorder in Vienna is sexual, and the case that is to supply the test of magistracy is a young and innocent man caught technically in fornication with his betrothed. Angelo condemns him to die and sets in motion a train of events that soon plunges the city into moral chaos. Now we should notice here the curious parallel with the account of beginnings in Divine Principle. There is in both stories a premature sexual act which brings calamity both to the principals and to others. According to Divine Principle, the fall of Adam and Eve was sexual, and passed sin into the human race until the fulfillment of the conditions of restoration. In both these stories -- and this is the critical feature from our present perspective -- there is an observer to these transactions in the peculiar position of having in one sense the power to intervene at any moment and set things right, and in another sense deprived himself of all power by a self-determined principle. That is, the observer is morally implicated in what he observes by virtue of a free choice which he possesses in a degree peculiar to himself.
The Duke's active involvement in the story is precipitated by an act of hypocrisy. When the condemned man's sister, a nun, Isabella, comes to plead for her brother's life, Angelo offers to strike a corrupt bargain: a life in exchange for sexual surrender to himself. Isabella refuses to bargain, and her brother faces certain execution. It is at this point that the disguised Duke takes charge, not by revealing himself, but by directing the action toward a particular sort of ending.
This middle movement in the story, the complications that hinge on secrecy, manipulation, and, to use a phrase of Divine Principle, the "prolongation of restoration," the numerous knots which the Duke ties and unties, is the peripeteia of classical drama. This is the part that occurs after the characters are introduced and the central dilemma or irony of the drama is discovered. It is already apparent where the resolution of things must be sought, what the terms of conflict are that must be brought to a conclusion. But in the peripeteia complications arise, hopes of early resolution are dashed, character takes on unforeseen complexity, seemingly minor impediments grow to fill the horizon of the plot. In tragedy, this is the section where the final catastrophe is seen to form itself out of chance, small errors, and flaws of character that would be unnoticed or trivial in other circumstances. In comedy, however, since the ending must be more or less a happy one, the peripeteia is highly formal. We do not shudder at growing doom, but rather marvel at the sheer virtuosity of the ravelling of the knot. How will the playwright pull all these threads out and bring them back neatly tied? Here the peripeteia must be briskly paced, it must flirt with chaos, and then in a burst of energy deposit its characters safely in an orderly world once again.
Measure for Measure is a "problem play." It is not really comic, in our ordinary sense of the word, but it is structurally a comedy. We cannot here even hint at the rich ambiguity of this play -- all of which would be pertinent to our present inquiry were we prepared to draw it out to a very fine point -- but we should observe that the entire moral coloration of the play is effected by the ending, and by our awareness of the ending as a saving convention: saving in two senses, that it saves the characters from a terrible fate, that they do not, as characters, have the gravity to sustain as tragic; and it saves our moral universe as spectators, from the spectacle of a ruler who cannot rule. And these are very real dangers in Measure for Measure. For example: In leading Angelo on to his final exposure, the hidden Duke arranges an assignation between Angelo and Isabella. But he substitutes for Isabella another girl, Mariana, whom Angelo had promised to marry and then abandoned. In this act the Duke himself is an accessory to fornication, the crime which has already been the occasion for moral disaster. Or consider the Duke's allowing Isabella to believe her brother is already dead, to prepare her to seek a full revenge on Angelo in pursuit of the Duke's design. We might add here, what is revealed only in the last lines of the play, that the Duke is himself drawn sexually to Isabella, although she is a nun of the strictest order, and he had worn the privileged guise of a priest to be near her and obtain her confessions. In this moral twilight-world, the only solution formally satisfactory is marriage. At the last disclosure, Angelo must marry Mariana; Isabella's brother, now discovered to be alive and reprieved, is married to his mistress; Lucio -- a minor character -- is made to marry the whore he has with child, on evidence he gave to the disguised Duke; and the Duke himself proposes to Isabella.
Here at work is a dramatic convention of great durability -- one that has governed modern popular fiction from Pamela to Hollywood romantic comedy. The premise is that there is no sexual corruption so vile it cannot be redeemed by marriage vows. Marriage vows put an end to the comedic peripeteia. Such "endings" are happy endings, because they are really new beginnings, of plots that run on invisibly, beyond the edges of the work of art. We don't know whether it will work out for the married couples, but because we can hope it will, all that was morally and psychologically problematical in the prenuptial plot is transformed retrospectively. If we acquiesce in the last link of the chain -- as surely as wedding guests we must -- we cannot object to the links that led us there.
Now consider the structural elements of the narrative in Divine Principle. The fall of man sets up the condition of dramatic irony, a problem to be resolved whose terms for resolution are at once clear. That is, a sexual crime must be expiated, and its effects reversed by a process of restoration of innocence. But between fall and restoration there lies the peripeteia, which is the whole of human history. Dispensational turns are the knots of the plot, now carrying us teasingly close to resolution, now in giddy tumult towards chaos. God, whose intentions are encompassed in an ideal Garden, sees his world transformed into an obscene caricature of his visions. And he is in this movement of the plot transformed from author to spectator, from the center of creative energy to grieving wayfarer. The image of God as keening parent serves structurally the function of Shakespeare's Duke as a pious friar. It makes him emotionally connected with events, but supplies a procedural evasion, so that he seems not to be responsible for events. His power is forgotten by a shift of costume.7
But there are two elements in the narrative that point the way to the cancellation of moral judgment on this procedural evasion. The first is the numerological character of Divine Principle dispensationalism. Here is the clue that triggers the expectation of comedy: the formality of peripeteia. When the knots are purely formal ones, matters of space and time, of elegant variations on predictable sequences, we know we are not in the presence of tragedy. Nothing quite like real life is at stake; we need only wait for the marvelous machine to come to the end of its trajectory.
Secondly, there is the extraordinary intuition of the happy ending. All the world, all creation, is said finally to be restored, even the devil. And the sacramental sign of restoration, the event that signals the end of peripeteia, is the blessed marriage of the Lord of the Second Advent, and of everybody. Marriages that create perfect children and thus end history.8 Bur history is only peripeteia, not the entire plot. We do not know what will happen beyond the imagined happy end, but because it is a happy continuation, history is a comedy. God's secrets are not the sadistic secrets of a torturer, but are the secrets of a cornucopia, whose wealth spills out only at the end. Divine Principle is a divine comedy.
The flaw here, of course, is that we have papered over an evasion with another evasion. The story wants us to accept that God is a grieving father, while he keeps the saving secret to his breast; our solution is to call the story a comedy. The reason our criticism is fundamentally evasive is that the story is not a deliberate fiction, but a religious teaching, and we have only labeled the problem away.
The Prince is not a fiction, but a book of political advice. It is not addressed to "us," but to the ruler. Machiavelli got a very bad reputation over this book, but he was an intelligent and clear-sighted man. Impermanence, mutability, uncertainty were for Machiavelli, the enemies of civic life. Civic life depends on order. Like the Romans, Machiavelli personified the greatest danger to order in the state as the goddess Fortuna, who presides over chance fluctuations in the fortunes of men. Many things may happen to men for good or ill, over which they have no control, but prudent men wrest from Fortuna her power over them to the degree they can, by calculation and knowledge.9
The happiness of men who live in principalities is best guaranteed by a prince whose rule is secure. Such a man is one who understands the moods of Fortuna, who knows the hearts of men, and bends opportunity to his own purposes. If the prince is secure, the state will be secure. The rules that govern security in a principality are different from those that govern a republic since the former is dependent on the life of one man and on his personal skill. The premise, therefore, of The Prince is simple: Since the collective welfare of men in the civic life of a principality depends on the prince, the prince is not like other men. The consequences of his actions are different from other men's. The springs of his action must be different. He must not be guided by ordinary morality or workaday wisdom. He must shape all his mental powers rather to the single end of getting, sustaining, and prolonging his rule.
The irony that Machiavelli was too intelligent to evade is that while the prince's pursuit of unlimited power works for civic ends, he is most effective when he thinks only of his own ends. Therefore, Machiavelli's advice is entirely practical, in the morally repugnant vein that made him notorious. The prince's arsenal is an intimate knowledge of other men: their fears, their cupidities, their hopes, the span of their memories, the length of their gratitudes, the exact weight of their loyalties, the various shapes of their ambitions. Some men may be bought, some must be killed. Some must be killed, and their families must be as well, lest they seek revenge. The prince must understand his own situation with unsentimental clarity. He must seek to be loved, but not cloud his judgment by loving or by wanting to be loved for its own sake. He must understand what he must do if he is a usurper, or a conqueror, or an hereditary prince. To each situation there is a rule by which rime may work against the interests of the prince, and by which it can be made to work for him.10
The character of these specific recommendations is not germane to our purposes, but the implication for a narrative structure in history is. The great intellectual work Machiavelli and some of his contemporaries set themselves we have already alluded to: to describe political life in time in such a way as to understand the mechanism of change, and having understood it, to control it. In the revival of classical culture they discerned a problem that the ancients had left unsatisfactorily resolved: that whatever men do to arrest change, political societies seem to obey an inner law of cyclical transformation. They begin in virtue, proceed to success and the planting of seeds of complacency and corruption, only to harvest the final collapse of polity in decadence and tyranny. The prolongation of stability in time was the task they set themselves. It is not surprising, therefore, that Machiavelli and Guicciardini, as the leading spirits in the revival of classical republican ideology, were also pioneering modern historians. It is the art of historical narrative which above all other arts establishes images of political continuity in time. It plants in civic consciousness an idea of men as actors whose performances may be judged and therefore improved. Statecraft is the subject matter of historical narrative, and a mastery of statecraft is impossible without historical narrative.11
The consciousness of the prince is shaped by a narrative that is always incomplete, always latent. The part of the story the prince does not know is the ending. Or rather, what he knows from the character of historical narratives generally, is that there are several possible endings for the story in which he finds himself. He is always in the peripeteia, always in the middle of the story. A book of political advice, like The Prince, is a set of materials for alternative narratives. If you wish the end to be like this, the narrating voice says, the middle must perforce look like this. Put differently, the man who is acquainted with the possible endings of a story has a certain power over the middle. In fiction this power belongs to the storyteller whose power over the middle parts is determined by his secret knowledge of the end. But The Prince is not a fiction. It is the character in the story who is to actualize a possible story in time by having a secret. A man of power, unlike a storyteller, keeps the complete narrative in his imagination. He makes it "happen" by keeping the end to himself. He is the sole spectator to his own acts and therefore by definition amoral.
The kind of discourse The Prince is, is nearer to religious narrative than is Measure for Measure. The God of Divine Principle is, like Machiavelli's prince, in the middle of things when we discover him. There are possible endings, and there have been projected endings which have been revised. Above all, it is revealed in this text that God keeps secrets.
We know that God keeps secrets in history because he has revealed some of them to other characters in the story, and may reveal or withhold at will. This is the way, incidentally, in which religious stories resist criticism of the kind appropriate to fiction. In a fiction we can criticize the story because the storyteller has power over all of it. He must tell us all his secrets in the end, because the end is the only secret he can hold, and the story must have an end. The teller of a religious story evades the criticism of his story because the end is not his secret, nor must it be revealed in the story. The story of the storyteller is only a part, even if an authorized part, of a story not only unfinished, but of one with secrets about the beginning and middle that are not yet uncovered. 12
Machiavelli is able to make explicit in The Prince, what the storyteller in Divine Principle cannot acknowledge, although it belongs equally to the structure of his story, that is, that the ruler of rime must have secrets buried in the beginning and the middle if he is to control the end. Those secrets are secrets about himself. The ruler is the man who knows others but is not known by them. He is the only disinterested spectator of the actions of others and the only informed spectator of his own actions. Here the Western idea of God and the Western idea of the prince move into congruence. Since the secrets of God make him the only witness of his own acts, he is, like the prince, removed from ordinary judgment on his behavior. The essential subjective quality Machiavelli was able to delineate was perfect cynicism. Cynicism is the appropriate psychological correlative of narrative structured in this way. Cynicism is not of course a quality attributed to God in Divine Principle. Yet the essential narrative elements for that understanding of him are present. God is said to reveal himself as a loving father and a grieving father, yet his mastery of the essential elements of power -- control of self-disclosure and control of the time in which others wait -- suggests that his love and his grief are means toward an end, the masks of the Machiavellian ruler.13
How are we to interpret the story then? If we may assume that all secrets are not revealed, the narrative discloses itself as comedy -- that is, whatever the moral significance of the story as a whole, it is at least reassuring about the world in the way that comedic closure of a plot always is. In this case the morally operative feature of the story is not responsible character bur formal development. Things must come out right, because this is that sort of narrative. On the other hand, if not all secrets are revealed -- and it is the text that raises this possibility by virtue of its not being a fiction, but a history of secrets hidden and revealed -- an intense light is thrown on the element of will in the structure of the world. Reassurance in this case can only take the form of an invitation to identification with that will (which is the pose of Machiavelli in The Prince). At a certain level, the pleasure in reading the story as comedy is the pleasure of believing in a good outcome, and the pleasure of reading it as an account of vast, arbitrary, and willful power, is the pleasure of tasting that power vicariously.
To stop there is to assume that belief, the belief of the teller of a religious story, and the belief of a reader of that story, is a unitary, simple, and unproblematic experience, connected only with the anticipations predicated by sequence, by the imaginary cause and effect of narration. Not only is belief itself not a single discriminable state of mind or feeling, the plot of a religious story, like all narrations, contains normative propositions, moral judgments, ideological and metaphysical structures that are known or knowable apart from plot. What is predicated by the existence of a religious story is that some facts about the world are nor tellable -- which is to say, in religious language, believable -- other than in narrative. What Hayden White has said of the master plots of philosophies of history, we may say of religious master plots, that they are really "images of that authority which summons us to participation in a moral universe that, but for its story form, would have no appeal at all."14
Authority, aurhoritativeness, is at the heart of the religious narrative. The voice of narration is not the voice of the maker officious, nor the voice of the wise man and courtier. It is a voiceless voice, speaking in the authority of what is simply true, of what accredits itself in the telling. It presses its claims not by argument, but by telling, telling what has been and what is and what is to come. But the invoking of authority is for something. It "summons us to participation." Coercive or non-coercive in style, the teaching of the authoritative narrative is not an offering of pleasures, but the pulling of powerful cultural levers, summoning us either to do something or be something.
Let us consider our response, as readers receptive to the summoning power of the text, to the historical material in Divine Principle. The choices seem to me to be four:
1. The storyteller is, in the fullest sense, unconscious of contradiction. It is a confused and inept story whose images fail to do their work. We judge it a bad story.
2. The story summons us to a relationship with God. That is, its ideological motive remains religious. Narration and sequence make God "real," as real as historical events. Elements of the story, because it is a story, suggest that ambiguous moral response may be appropriate to God as a character. But since he is "real," ambiguity is not tolerable. And so the story becomes myth, in the over-arching vision that swallows the story, the myth of the Father-God. "Father" establishes the nature of the relationship, and suggests the gestures appropriate to it.
3. The story summons us to a relationship with history, with the whole of it, with time itself. God is, in this reading, an image of dominion over time. Machiavelli gives us the clue to this reading in his understanding of this dominion as having moral value in itself. In this mode, story speaks to collective identity, to conceptions of good which are realized only in public life, in time.
4. The story has no essential religious or public meaning, but is a summoning to a type of individual existence which would be unattractive except for the narrative.
Now the first of these possibilities we list in order to acknowledge that in the authority of stories much depends on taste, but also as an occasion to note that "bad" stories are as theoretically interesting as "good" ones.15
The second deals with the mysterious persuasiveness of religious metaphors and religious imperatives. It is a topic that invites psychoanalytic translation, but getting to know God is in any case what the story is most obviously meant to encourage, and scarcely needs demonstration.
The last two possibilities are concerned with political and personal ideology.
The most obvious collective myth for which the narrative of Divine Principle is meant to prepare us is the myth of the national destiny of Korea to lead the nations in the last days. The fascinating point about Korea, in the light of all the foregoing discussion, is that Korea is said to be chosen of God for an Israelitic, or priestly, role among the nations, because Korea has been long-suffering] Korea, it is said, has not once attacked its neighbors.16 If we may put this into the language of our reading of the God-myth in Divine Principle, Korea is the ideal subject of the God-ruler, because Korea has waited patiently in the aevum of God's dominion in time. If dominion in time is a moral virtue for itself in the powerful, then waiting is a virtue for itself in the weak.
We should notice two things about this doctrine respecting Korea. The first is that the story does not preach the ethical superiority of the meek and mild. Far from it. Long-suffering has dispensational implications rather than ethical ones. The long-suffering are elevated when the time is come. Waiting is to be understood in relation to a significant sequence rather than to a non-temporal value. On the other hand -- this is the second thing to notice -- Divine Principle does not project into the future an apocalyptic fantasy of Korean world-hegemony. Rather Korea is to ally herself with the ascendant Western democracies, and particularly with the United States in a great chiliastic dream of the defeat of Satan at the national level of world organization.
Insofar as the story reflects apolitical style, it is what we might call one of tough realism. Survival power is real power. It is clear that as political beliefs these ideas can only be told in the form of narrative. By what set of political or ethical propositions could the preeminence of Korea be established, or for that matter the preeminence of the United States in the divine economy, unless it is by telling the history of the world in just this way? That is, by a system of formal correspondences rather than by networks of causality, and by the celebration of power rather than by the criticism of power. If we may speak further here of political style, if somewhat less securely, we may say that the projection of the God of Divine Principle into the rulership of the world is a celebration of a style of rulership as such, of a rulership that subordinates means to ends and exhibits its power by the keeping of secrets.
The political culture refracted in this story is a culture weak in civic sense, with a conception of law as a series of symmetrically disposed movements -- rather than as a connected system of ethical norms -- and as a species of trial by ordeal. (The devil counterfeits every one of God's moves. How do we discriminate in our allegiance? God is the one who wins in the end. The principle of evil is such because it is formally opposite but otherwise like the good.)
The storyteller in Divine Principle perceives very little saintliness in human beings. People are said to be central figures, but not saints. There is no discernible doctrine of the church -- as the company of the saints -- in Divine Principle. Sanctity in the Unification system is located in concentration only in the unborn, that is, in the perfected children of blessed couples, and in the future existence of spirits now dead or still alive.17 There are, in short, few exemplars of supreme ethical behavior in the system. Nor are there the company of critical witnesses to individual human acts presumed by all advanced legal systems and by the classical doctrine of saints. Since saintliness lies in the future, we may only judge the dead and the living by dispensational criteria, by the position they occupy in the sequences of the story. Divine Principle is quite clear about this, and it enters the structure of the story precisely where Divine Principle is most inventive. Jesus, for example, is not to be understood as establishing an ethical ideal in the specific mode of his life, because had he lived longer he would have lived a very different kind of life. He failed to occupy certain positions in relation to the human life cycle and in relation to the history of his time, which, as we have seen, throws the dispensational clock back to the beginning. Quite consistently, Rev. Moon is not that exemplar either, because his experience, especially his sufferings, are said to be unique, and because his importance lies in his office as Lord of the Second Advent, another "central figure" marking dispensational time.
We may now see the ethical paradox of the Unificationist, ecumenical, and universalist thrust of the Moon movement. While these positions are, in the language of twentieth-century secular chiliasm, progressive, they may flow from a disability to perceive evil communities, or actions that are unredeemable. There are, in the apocatastasis of unification and restoration, no societies or persons with whom we do not wish to share the world. The system is not concerned with evil exemplars any more than it is with saintly ones, except to the extent that positions are identified with the evil side in the cosmic dialectic. Thus, anti-communism is rationalized as opposition to a recurring "Cain-position." It is not generalized into a law of response to specific kinds of behavior, enjoined upon civilized men as individuals.
Histories are the images political societies have of themselves in time. This is true of both of the historical traditions conflated in Divine Principle: The tribal historical literature of the ancient Hebrews, and the account of Western civilization and the European state system created by humanist historians since the Renaissance. Each of these narrative traditions, by different means, conserves a prized political style, a political ascendancy, and feelings of collective identity. Narratives do this by identifying sequences of events that lead to a particular present. Narratives, because they give the status of unalterable fact to all events in the past leading to the present moment, give to the present moment great solidity, inevitability, and impressiveness. They tie populations to a time that is longer than any one of them individually. Narrative supplies a place, a territory, a homeland, a locus for events. This is a conservative function of history.
One of the ways a historical narrative tradition can be a civilizing agent is that it is a witness to behavior otherwise lost. Past behavior is held to the judgment of posterity. The moral significance of present behavior becomes an issue in society to the degree there will be witnesses in the future. A narrative anticipates that witness, since it is the present witness of other acts now past. The linking of these acts of witness and judgment, past, present, and future, into a code of behavior binding all people who are parry to the collective identity, is the meaning of a rule of law. We may personify this witnessing of human acts as God. We may say that society collectively, in the persons of judges or revolutionary tribunals or other vested agents, is witness to our acts. We may say that every man must possess within him the witness of his own conscience. The essence of moral law, in any event, is the existence of an impartial observer separate from the interested actor and the comparison, retrospectively or prospectively, of specific acts with a notion of ideal action. A moral law to which we can hold others liable must be one that arises in collective experience, because a binding notion of ideal action must be seen to be linked with a possible action, with something men can do because other men have done it or must do because the collective witness to individual acts in society reserves a special honor for such action. It is in the narrative of collective experience that moral expectation of others appears. The narrating voice is perhaps the first intimation of impartial witness in any human society, from which derive all ethically relevant conceptions of divine and human judgment.
A problem, therefore, with narrative on the scale of Divine Principle. is that it is a solute of the local narratives it appropriates. Master plots of this kind are nor reflections of any particular human community in which ethical obligation has ever arisen in the past or that can be said to be operative in the present. The narrative structure of this theology creates the presumption of a collectivity of all created men in lineage from Adam and Eve. Indeed, it is one of the special inventions of this version of an ancient myth that the biological linking of all men in sexual reproduction is the carrier of the moral characteristics of humanity -- subsumed in the idea of the fall. The narrative is not the record of any actual human society. Now the problem with this is not that the narrative is false. All narratives are more or less false. The problem is that when society is conceived as made up of all men, in all times, society and time are stripped of ordinary moral significance. Is it possible, to turn the issue around, to create any tolerable human society out of a generalized account of human experience? Is it possible to be a good man without being a good Greek or a good Englishman or a good Navaho? It is curious that this religious teaching should find itself in these respects arguing the priority of biology over culture in the organization not of the lowest human faculties, but of the very highest ones, where moral life and collective identity intersect. The sense of men united in the common condition of fallenness, transmitted in the one act without which no man would exist, is a powerful remission of obligation to local culture. When local culture can be identified with ethnic or religious particularism or tribal taboo or racism, these remissions are perceived as liberating. But we should wish to be very cautious if the alternative is a universal pseudo-species and a universal meta-culture. Not only does the schematic of the Divine Principle understanding of history place us all in the same plot, it removes all possibility of adequate human judgment or human action in history, first by saying that no one until Rev. Moon has understood the meaning of history and, secondly, by placing the only society worthy to judge us in the future. That is, the society of the perfected children of blessed parents.
If no local human culture is able adequately to account for and transmit a fully human identity or destiny, then God alone may be the witness to moral or immoral acts. But an idea of God can plainly not be more than the sum of moral insights men have already achieved. And if men are in despair of their real cultures, they can only construct their fantasy cultures out of a condition of demoralization. God, in Divine Principle, is a figure that embodies the specific shape of demoralization in the twentieth century. He is the epitome of dislocated and deracinated sentiment. Like modern society he inhabits a world whose chief visible coherence is mathematical. He is alienated from his children, but can only sorrow impotently. His grandest projects come close to fulfillment but remain aborted, incomplete. What he craved is a restoration of innocent affection and the centering of the activities of others on his own needs and demands. He is a victim of the "ideology of intimacy," in Richard Sennett's phrase.18
The element of the parental metaphor that is missing, of weak, is the element of judgment, the element of disinterested adjudication. The form of the narrative has weakened the Hebrew idea of God as lawgiver and judge, and has weakened the Christian idea of the church as the visible agent in culture of God the ruler. There is no hell in Divine Principle, because there is no competent authority for sending anyone there. And the reason there is none is that the story is not the myth of any human society, but a myth limited in its imaginative capacity by the absence of particular society. An idea of hellishness, an idea of inclusion and exclusion, and an idea of judgment can only arise in a particular society out of images of social experience in particular places and times. The loss of society, on the other hand, can only produce vague longings for intimacy and an incapacity for difficult ethical discriminations that require the recognition of radical difference in the human capacity for moral imagination. God is unwittingly portrayed as the model of an immature parent, even as the story, by a powerfully poignant and unintended irony, tells us that the sin of Adam and Eve was an act of precocity. They were immature. The doctrine that the condition of fallen man is a condition of immaturity and an incomplete capacity for intimacy is a sharp denial of the secular ideal of civilization, which is the capacity to form limited but real attachments to other people at a moral distance. The damage that the story does, in short, is the diversion of attention from just those saving evolutions of mature ethical disposition in particular human histories, in favor of an expectation of apocalyptic restoration of familial intimacy.
No account of the ideology of this religious story would be complete if we stopped with its public dimension or even with those dimensions of the economy of time that flow from the nature of God. The most simple, the most immediately felt meaning of the historical myth of Divine Principle lies in its character as an allegory of a man's life in its passage to maturity.19 This is transparent in the Adamic theology and in the christological and messianic speculations of the Unification system. The first Adam was a boy; the second Adam a young man; the third Adam, or Lord of the Second Advent, is in his apotheosis a middle-aged man. Each of these stages is marked by a paradigmatic episode, or crisis, that defines the sexual and social nature of a man in that time of life. Adam discovers his sexuality with a woman, but irresponsibly before he knows what he is doing. Jesus is discovered in the prime of early manhood, the master of random sexual urges, but in deep struggle with the issues of comradeship and the love of men for one another in the work of the world. It is the tragic break with John the Baptist in the richly intuitive account of Divine Principle, that seals the final shape of this young man's disappointment and failure.20 Finally, in the Lord of the Second Advent, in the life of Rev. Moon, lies the key to closure of the unresolved plots of the incomplete life. The solitary sufferings of this figure take up where Gethsemane was insufficient and form the rite of passage to middle-age. The experience of mature love between a man and a woman blessed with children is the end of the crisis.
We should then understand the long, arc swings of dispensational time allegorically as the arid stretches of the time in which nothing happens. We live and work, we love and procreate, but spiritual life is stopped dead, waiting for conditions that seem never to come. How exhilarating then it would be to read the historical analysis of Divine Principle for the present age -- an age of impending transformation and resolution, of the dawning of the final apocatastasis -- as a promise of personal transformation? The providential ages of the story, read literally, land us, the lucky mortals now living, at just the right time to be alive, but also suggest, by a deep phenomenological correspondence with our personal life-historical fantasies, that stretches of nothingness are indeed preparations for beatitude, the psychological correlatives of which are happiness, well-being, feelings of personal competence, and feelings of love. These are of course precisely the personal qualities every observer of Moonie personality comments on and which particularly trouble those critics who feel the manifestation of these qualities as feelings amounts to an aberrant denial of reality.
It seems to me that both the friends and the enemies of the Moon movement may err profoundly in taking as the central issue of personal conversion and personality transformation these feelings of love and well-being. If we read the meaning of this historical myth consistently as an allegory of human personality development, it is clear that these psychological correlatives of beatitude are the properties of middle age, and the products of the experience of failure and great suffering. It would be surprising if a system that placed so much stress on the prolongation of closure, and the moral value of maturation, would hold out an unconditional happiness to the young. Nor does it.
The precise quality of suffering that is uniquely Unificationist is contained, first, in the idea of indemnity, which is in a sense the obverse of the Christian penitential system. The penitential system rested on the appropriation and distribution of a reservoir of merit, accumulated by the worthy dead, and available to the penitent through the institutions and rituals of the church. Indemnity, on the other hand, accumulates the failures of the dead as a moral responsibility of the living. The Unificationist pilgrim is not assured of remissive passages on the way toward maturity, but rather of accumulating responsibility. Secondly, in the dispensational system we find another principle that amounts to a principle of motivation by psychic stress: the repeated doctrine in Divine Principle of God's portion of responsibility and man's portion of responsibility, allocated as ninety-five percent and five percent.
Now these proportions are very interesting from a psychological point of view. All traditional Western theologies have in their poetic and devotional flights strained to capture images of extreme disparity of size and strength adequate enough, or grotesque enough, to illuminate the disparity between God and man. Man is dust and God is a mighty wind. Man is as grass and God is a mountain. These images are anxiety-producing in their own way, but they are also reassuring. Weakness can get no weaker. To contend with God may be to risk life, but not to risk dignity. It is quite otherwise in the notion of ninety-five percent and five percent, a metaphor devoid of allusive complexity or suggestive interest. Five percent is, under the circumstances, an inhuman responsibility, a crushing and devastating burden.21 And the system applies this apportionment of responsibility precisely at the points in the dispensational scheme where, as we have seen, the greatest surge of cosmic energy is required to shift time decisively toward restoration. God, it is said, always performs his share of responsibility; the relative failure of the end-time in each age is due to man's failure to make up his bit. It is asserted in the system that this is a reasonable arrangement. But it is not. God, as we have seen, holds the secret of the end and is therefore one hundred percent responsible. The justice of Job's case against God, from the ground of his utter nothingness, restored Job's dignity, while, according to Jung, teaching God something about himself.
The meaning for human personality in the dispensational parable of Divine Principle is the imputation of a vast, and swiftly accumulating, burden of anxious responsibility. In a collective sense this is a responsibility to sustain the conditions for the successful mission of the Lord of the Second Advent. What the narrative teaches, however, is that the negotiation of these dispensational passages is highly problematic. If we read the history of these incompleted and frustrated passages as parables of personal development, life becomes a pattern of enormous external demands which must be met by supreme efforts of will and concentration. The stakes in human dignity and the potential for unforgivable and catastrophic failure are extremely high.
Unification Church members are frequently identified as people who seem to be very happy. They are also people who expect of themselves unusual capacities for work, for successful motivation, and for precocious feats of concentration and will. This will to conquer entropy of feeling and action, together and at once, is an assumption of personal responsibility for the impersonal totality of culture. These people, furthermore, are a minority population of "seekers," that is, people who identify the quality of deracination in modern culture as oppressive.22 Since there is not a local culture to which such people truly belong (if there were they would not be seekers), there is no choice but to assume responsibility for the whole of culture, for all cultures, to be at home in the whole world. The narrative of the whole world in Divine Principle, which every prospective convert receives in carefully explicated lectures, is shaped to induce precisely this commitment to totality, and the commitment would be neither attractive nor sustainable without the narrative.23
Yet there is in the narrative itself sufficient evidence of contradiction and a sufficient quantity of phenomenological data concerning the dreadfulness of cosmic time, the untrustworthiness of God, and the injustice of the system's demands on personality, that the scheme is ideologically unstable. Of course elements of this narrative, as of the system as a whole, will be reinterpreted in accordance with the changing institutional character of the Moon movement. It seems likely, however, that the lineaments of individual character and temperament desired by the system will remain, and the pressures that sustain the personality type will continue. These are easily discernible in these extraordinary demands on personality, the potential for either the narcotizing of temperament in self-defense or the radical internalizing of cosmic mission in the form of compulsive, megalomaniacal work-obsession with fantasies of super-human personal significance and authority.24 On the other hand, the orientation of this narrative toward maturity as a positive goal in life and its curious capacity to touch central existential and ethical issues even while elaborately evading them, suggest that those people who will work through and out of the system, or at least through and out of its fundamentalist formulations, may be more whole and balanced persons than they would have been otherwise. The conditions of demoralization and deracination refracted in the text were not invented by it. And if disillusionment is one of the terms for survival and growth under these conditions, we cannot despise the illusion that precedes it and gives it its specific shape. Disillusion is a feature of the life history of an illusion, and -- it we may contribute a tenet to a future liberal Moonism -- one that belongs appropriately to middle-age.25
*The present paper is substantially different from the one delivered at the Bahamas' conference. Discussion of the paper as it was presented has been dropped from the proceedings.
1 Carl Jung, The Portable Jung, ed. Joseph Campbell (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1976), pp. 599-600.
2 Divine Principle (Washington: Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity, 1973), pp. 381, 392; hereafter cited as Divine Principle.
3 Divine Principle, p. 16.
4 Divine Principle, p. 9.
5 Divine Principle, p. 381.
6 Divine Principle, pp. 525-26.
7 Cf. Measure for Measure, I.iii. 40-43: "I have on Angelo imposed the office, / Who may, in th' ambush of my name, strike home, /And yet my nature never in the fight/To do it slander."
8 It is curious that Divine Principle, which has so much to say about the end of history, has so little directly to say about the ritual and sacramental role of marriage in the life of the movement, and in forming the end of previous human history. Nevertheless, it is implicit in all discussions of restoration. Cf. Divine Principle, p. 101: "If Adam and Eve... had established a home and society without sin by multiplying children of goodness according to God's blessing (Genesis 1:28), this would have been the Kingdom of Heaven, which would have been realized as a huge family centered on the same parents."
9 "How far human affairs are governed by fortune, and how far fortune can be opposed." Niccolo Machiavelli, The Prince, ch. 25, trans. George Bull (Harmondsworrh: Penguin, 1961), pp. 130-33.
10 The most developed modern argument for the old-fashioned view of Machiavelli as a teacher of evil and corrupter, is by Leo Strauss. See his Thoughts of Machiavelli (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1966), esp. pp. 9-14. lam not persuaded of the utility of this perspective in the present connection, but an analysis of Divine Principle fully informed by it would be forced, it seems to me, to notice the very similar, and sinister, wedding of tradition and technology in the Moon system that Strauss complains of in Machiavelli.
11 J. G. A. Pocock, The Machiavellian Moment: Florentine Political Thought and Atlantic Republican Tradition (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1975), has resurrected, with an extraordinary virtuosity, the complex of ideas referred ro.
12 A full discussion of the narrative voice in fiction is in Wayne C. Booth, The Rhetoric of Fiction (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1961). See also Frank Kermode, "Secrets and Narrative Sequence," Critical Inquiry, 7 (1980), 89-90. Kermode means something different by secrets than I mean here. It should be noted that Divine Principle itself naively intimates the importance of secrets in understanding the character of narrative. Cf. Divine Principle, p. 285: "The Scriptures contain countless secrets concerning God's providence of salvation."
13 A startling example of cynicism applied systematically to the practice of rulership is discussed in J.G.A. Pocock, "Ritual, Language, Power: An Essay on the Apparent Political Meanings of Ancient Chinese Philosophy," Politics. Language and Time: Essays on Political Thought and History (New York: Athenaeum, 1971), esp. pp. 66-71.
14 Hayden White, "The Value of Narrativity in the Representation of Reality," Critical Inquiry, 7 (1980), 24. On belief, see the extraordinary essay by Rodney Needham, Belief. Language, and Experience (Oxford: Blackwell, 1972).
15 White, pp. 18-19.
16 Divine Principle, p. 526.
17 Lionel Rothkrug, in "Religious Practices and Collective Perceptions: Hidden Homologies in the Renaissance and Reformation," Historical Reflections! Reflexions histortques. 7, No. 1(1980), 134, says, respecting the Protestant reformers: "Only a people who had nothing to remember in common felt impelled to relive in one way or another biblical life wie es eigentlich gewesen 1st" This is in the context of an argument about the absence of native saints, or sanctity, in Protestant confessional kinds before the Reformation. Numerologically derived, dispensationalist historical-narrative is of course one way to "relive biblical life" in a culture of deracination.
18 Richard Sennett, The Fall of Public Man (New York: Knopf, 1977), p. 259. Sennett defines the ideology of intimacy thus: "Social relationships of all kinds are real, believable, and authentic the closer they approach the inner psychological concerns of each person... the humanitarian spirit of a society without gods: warmth is our god." The political culture of Divine Principle has a God, bur God's god is warmth.
19 Cf. John S. Dunne, Time and Myth (Garden City, New York: Doubleday, 1973),p. 50: "There is some profound link, it seems, between the story of a man's life and the story of his world. The story of his world is his myth, the story in which he lives, the greater story that encompasses the story of his life. To discover his myth he must go deeper into his life than he would it he were going to tell only his life story."
20 Divine Principle, pp. 157-62.
21 Divine Principle, p. 284: "The providence of restoration must necessarily be prolonged when man fails to accomplish his own portion of responsibility, and, at the same time, a greater condition of indemnity must be set up in order to restore the failure."
22 A definition of seekers is given in john Lofland and Rodney Stark, "Becoming a World-Saver: A Theory of Conversion to a Deviant Perspective," American Sociological Review, 30 (1965), 862-75. To these writers, people define themselves as religious seekers by interpreting acutely-felt tension "within a religious problem-solving perspective. In their scheme, this is the stage before encountering the converting text. What this misses is the way a religious text like Divine Principle supplies both the answer and the problem. Its world-history rewrites life-history, retrospectively, in terms of its own myth of closure.
23 Cf. the concluding sections of Divine Principle-. Part II, chapter 6, particularly sub-section III. 3.(5) called "All Aspects of Culture and Civilization Must Bear Fruit In This Nation," [i.e., Korea]; and sub-section V, "The Cause of the Confusion of Language and the Necessity for Its Unification "Divine Principle, pp. 530-32, 535-36. It should be said that lectures on Divine Principle, that follow the text with fidelity and are arranged much like the introductory college course in North America, seem to have a far more significant role in the morphology of the conversion experience than some accounts suggest. See previous note, and Flo Conway and Jim Siegelman, Snapping: America's Epidemic of Sudden Personality C/v/w^t (New York: Delta, 1979). Rather than "snapping" people out of normal cultural expectations of behavior, the lectures supply a means by which converts may apparently fulfill one of these expectations, the one created by the general education requirements of early college education, that the totality of culture be grasped as an interrelated sum of topical surveys at an early point in lite.
24 Cf. Norman Cohn, The Pursuit of the Millennium: Revolutionary Messianism in Medieval and Reformation Europe and Its Bearing on Modern Totalitarian Movements (New York: Harper and Row, 1961), p. 185: "It can happen that a mystic emerges from his or her experience of introversion -- like a patient from a successful psychoanalysis -- as a more integrated personality, with a widened range of sympathy and freer from illusions about himself and his fellow human beings. But it can also happen that the mystic interjects the gigantic parental images in their omnipotent, most aggressive and wanton aspects and emerges as a nihilistic megalomaniac."
25 I am suggesting what Frank Kermode calls the "skeptical modification of a paradigmatic fiction." The Sense of an Ending: Studies in the Theory of Fiction (New York: Oxford University Press, 1967), pp. 24, 25.