The Words the Hose Family

Vision on Spiritual Adulthood

David Hose
November 1984

Sun Myung Moon and Hyung Jin Moon, June 5, 2011

Spiritual childhood is very much the same as physical childhood. I'm sure you can remember talking to a brand new member, or an older brother or sister reminiscing about his or her first beliefs early in church life. Time and again I've heard people say, "You know, when I first joined the church I thought that in three months or three years the entire world would be restored."

Growing out of our early innocence and the simple "visions of the Kingdom" of our spiritual childhood isn't an easy process, because it not only requires learning and developing a deeper understanding of God and the real path of restoration; it means having to see things about ourselves, and about people and situations around us, that are probably going to disappoint us.

Like physical adolescence, this spiritual adolescent period can be a painful time; a time of awakening to realities that are, to put it in the memorable words of one younger brother, "not the way it was supposed to be." And here is where we must face the temptations of adolescence.

Everyone knows that adolescence is a time of being tempted. There are the sexual difficulties to be sure...but there is another temptation far more subtle -- it is the temptation to disillusionment. It comes when our childhood visions have suddenly been shaken by a reality that doesn't fit them. Why should I call disillusionment a temptation?

"Disappointed" with Life

As we grow in faith we come to see that the process of restoration is not merely a mystical walk toward heaven. It definitely involves a lot of ups and downs, and disappointments -- about oneself, about others, about the human structures around us. It is here that many have fallen prey to the "I'm disappointed" temptation, and gone on from there to a state of self-justified compromise. It is the mark, in many lives, of the bee innings of a pattern of failure.

How many men and women in this world have become "disappointed" with life, and concluded, "You just can't trust people" or "things just aren't turning out the way I expected"? With the "violation" of the childhood vision a person may again be tempted to continue in a kind of twilight zone of disappointment with life that can accompany them to the grave. Along with this disappointed state usually comes a resistance to dealing with the reality that has jolted those early dreams, and a consequent irresponsibility.

This not only cripples the individual but can have a devastating effect on marriage, children, and every enterprise one becomes involved with. The cruelest irony of this state of being is that the persons affected often see themselves as "noble martyr" or "victim" -- what a shock to find that one is in actuality the perpetrator. Such are the perils of spiritual adolescence when one fails the rites of passage.

Spiritual Adulthood

It is here that we need to learn about the stage beyond adolescence, the stage of spiritual adulthood, or in Principle terms, the completion stage. It is here that we can truly come to appreciate our True Parents, and to understand what has sustained their vision.

Through experience, and most often through disillusionment, we have the God-given chance to gain a kind of vision that does not live or die depending on external circumstances, but rather emerges from within the heart. It is perhaps one of the biggest challenges in life to allow this inner vision to dawn in ourselves, and to recognize that the true vision is not so much what we see but how we see. It is only with the dawning of this inner sight that true personal responsibility can be taken by an individual. "Duty" responsibility can be learned almost anywhere, but the path of our faith calls us to an inner responsibility that is rare in this world. We can do our "things," work passably with a duty type of responsibility, but human relationships, or relationships with God or Christ call for a much more conscious or internal response. Think back for a moment to all the centers or teams you've served in -- where did the challenges lie? It is so easy to walk away disappointed, not to take responsibility: "It's their problem. I have no relationship to that. I had my beautiful vision, and now so-and-so has ruined it. I'm a victim."

Thank God we follow a man and woman who have never yielded to that temptation. There must have been so many times in the past years when a lesser couple would have given in. Especially when one reflects on Father's very special birthright his quality of responsibility becomes amazing. He doesn't come out of the same mold we do. He doesn't have that separation from God we call sin, and yet he takes all responsibility and goes the road of repentance for all of us. He goes the way of repentance not only in the general sense, but in his facing of the day by day failings of our faith, our relationships, our work. It is this profound inner responsibility that is the surest indicator of an even more profound inner vision, one that refuses to be intimidated by the immaturity of this world. That is a real father.

Several years ago I heard that someone asked a rather bold question of Father: "Father, you promised us that in seven years we would be at a certain level of restoration, but seven years have passed and we aren't at that level -- what happened?" Father replied quite strongly, "No, God promised that in seven years we would be at that level. When I said that, it was absolutely founded on God's promise. He said it, but it was we who didn't accomplish our part." How much does the wobbliness of our foundations lie in the failure to understand the meaning of inner responsibility, and in the lack of inner vision?

Father is a man who has always had to go beyond the problems and see farther down the road -- we didn't achieve 30,000 members by 1977, so where could we go from there? Can you imagine how awful it would have been to go to Belvedere one Sunday morning and hear Father say, "Sorry, but I have no power to speak because, if you want to know the truth, I'm disillusioned by circumstances."

Reflect for a moment on God's circumstances after the fall of the first children. What incredible disillusionment God must have been tempted with! But God kept the vision and responsibility for restoration. This inner vision and responsibility could really be called causal. In our own lives, it is in the moment that we awaken to this causal realm that our vision and responsibility becomes more that of God, or Godlike in its quality; stepping beyond the disillusionment of the outer into a fuller understanding of what it means to truly love. Here is the meaning of spiritual adulthood.

Inner Vision

To inherit our Father's heart is to inherit a heart which is causal and self-initiating; one which gets its purpose from an inner relationship with God. To share Father's vision is not only to believe in what he believes; it is being able to see, no matter what is happening out there, what God sees. This heart and vision in our lives is the central power to liberate God: to allow Him to look and feel through us as He does through our True Parents.

The ironic thing is that this vision seldom comes through the easier kind of life. It is born of adversity. How often have we cried out for an end to suffering, and failed to understand that it is in confronting that very pain that our eyes can be opened. I look back and I think of how many times through my eyes God was unable to guide me.

His vision and mine were miles apart. I was affected by the outer circumstances, dominated by the emotions of the moment and not able to look beyond. As I reflect, it is interesting how a bad set of circumstances can turn a man away from God, while another person becomes a saint through circumstances far worse. Watching Father's and Mother's example throughout the court case of the last years, particularly in the time of Heung Jin Nim's departure last year, has been a real lesson for all of us in inner vision.

One last note on the relationship of inner vision to forgiveness: it is only the person who has come to that inner sight and responsibility who can truly forgive. Any virtues we have learned through the years that are not, finally, founded on the inner vision of the heart, are vain. In simple language we are speaking of the Parent -- the one who sees the potential beyond the illness in a brother or sister, a situation, a world -- and who will take on the burden and responsibility of nurturing that potential into bloom. (In fact, without this commitment, what we call forgiveness is nothing more than arrogance wearing the cloak of piety.)

Someone may say, "I only wish there were more time for that sort of thing, but we're so busy right now." Granted; but if our busyness isn't founded on that sort of thing what is our busyness about? Christ is very busy, but his life shows us that the parental vision is not governed by the clock; it is a quality of the heart.

As the New Year is upon us, it is plain to see that 1985 will be no less a challenge than 1984 -- no less a pace; no less a fight. God needs men and women of vision among us; we need vision from one another; our nations need vision. Our own precious children, who truly represent a new world, need parents who have vision, who have made the rites of passage. God bless your journey this coming year. 

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