Essentials Of Unification Thought - The Head-Wing Thought

IV. Establishing a New View of Value

A. Establishing the Absolute View of Value

Today, as values collapse, it is most important to establish a new view of value. It would be impossible, however, to prevent the phenomenon of the collapse of values by means of relative views of value. Therefore, an absolute view of value must be established. This absolute view of value must be established oil the basis of' tile clarification of what kind of attributes the absolute God possesses, and for what purpose (Purpose of Creation) and with which laws (Logos) God created human beings and the universe.

God created human beings as objects of His love, seeking to obtain joy through loving them. In order to please human beings, God created all things as objects of their love. Absolute values refer to the values of trueness, goodness, and beauty based on God's love (absolute love), that is, absolute trueness, absolute goodness, and absolute beauty. The essential point of the new view of value is that true values come into being on the basis of absolute love.

The unification of systems of value is the unification of the standards for the judgment of value (especially the value of goodness), making it clear that all virtues are diverse expressions of the absolute values, and that ultimately, all virtues exist in order to actualize absolute love.

Clearly, then, it would be wrong to think of the new view of value as an entirely new system, to be established at the cost of denying the traditional views of value from Christianity, Confucianism, Buddhism, Islam, and so on. Rather, the new view of value is established on the basis of traditional values. Since the bases upon which traditional values stand have collapsed, we need to rebuild those bases and to revive and strengthen traditional values. Next, in order to ensure the absoluteness of the new view of value, I will present a theological ground, a philosophical ground, and historical ground for it.

B. The Theological Ground for Absolute Value

The theological ground refers to the question of whether or not the Absolute Being in the universe, referred to as "God" in Christianity, "Heaven" in Confucianism, Tathal-a in Buddhism, "Allah" in Islam, and so on, truly exists.

In order to present this theological ground, the unsolved questions in traditional religions, such as why the absolute being (or God) created humankind and the universe, have to be clarified. As already explained in the Theory of the Original Image, the reason why God created humankind and the universe is that God is a being of Heart. Heart is the "emotional impulse to seek joy through love." Because of this impulse, God created human beings as His objects of love, and the universe as the environment in which humans could live. Thus, with God as the God of Heart, the reason for God's creation can be explained reasonably. This becomes an important basis for affirming the existence of God.

God's desire was for us to grow as the image of God. This is because, when that happened, then God's joy could be realized to the highest degree. For this reason, God gave us the Three Great Blessings-which meant that God directed man and woman to perfect their character, to perfect their family, and to perfect their qualifications for dominion over all things. Thus, God's Purpose of Creation would be attained through our realizing the Three Great Blessings. Seen from this point of view, we come to understand that the virtues of different religions can agree with one another in the point of accomplishing the Three Great Blessings as the way of realizing God's Purpose of Creation.

C. The Philosophical Ground for Absolute Value

The value systems of Christianity, Confucianism, Buddhism, and Islam emerged in the period from the Sixth Century B. C.. to the Seventh Century A. D. In that period of history, people had to accept the rule of authority unconditionally. Accordingly, in the societies of those days, people would unconditionally accept the teachings of Confucius, Buddha, Jesus, or Muhammad. In modern times, however, it is difficult to convey such values to people, because people now have a more rational, analytical, and logical way of thinking. Hence, it is necessary to modernize those value systems by providing them with rational explanations.

It was customary in ancient Greece and in the Orient to study nature and thereby to determine a view of value or a view of life. In China, Chu Lsi, especially, asserted the correspondence between natural law and ethical law, and said that laws of nature apply to tile ethical laws of human society. In modern times, Marxism takes such a position, although it has a mistaken concept of natural law. Marxism claims that society develops according to natural law (i.e., the dialectic).

Therefore, in establishing a new view of value, it is necessary for us also to observe nature and the universe, discuss the fundamental laws at work there, and thereby derive a view of value. That is, we will clarify that the law penetrating tile universe, namely, tile Way of Heaven, is the standard for ethics and morality. This is what is meant by the philosophical ground for absolute values.

Here arise such questions as whether or not natural law and ethical law correspond to each other, and whether or not natural law can be applied directly to ethical law. From the viewpoint of Unification Thought, all beings are equipped with the dual aspects of Sungsang and Hyungsang. Therefore, we come to the conclusion that ethical law, which is a Sungsang law, and natural law, which is a Hyungsang law, are in a relationship of correspondence.

The important point here is to obtain a correct understanding of nature. As mentioned in Ontology, Marxism started out from an incorrect understanding of nature and then concluded, incorrectly, that nature develops through the struggle between opposites. As a result, the way of life derived from that interpretation of nature became an incorrect way of life as well.

Seen from the viewpoint of Unification Thought, the fundamental law at work in the universe is not the dialectic, but rather tile law of give-and-receive action, which, as stated in Ontology, has the following characteristics:

(1) correlativity,
(2) purposiveness and centrality,
(3) order and position,
(4) harmony,
(5) individuality and connectedness,
(6) identity-maintaining nature and developmental nature, and
(7) circular motion. Thus, I will discuss views of value on the basis of these characteristics of the law of the universe.

The universe has both a vertical order and a horizontal order. The Moon revolves around the Earth, the Earth revolves around the Sun, the solar system revolves around the nucleus of the galaxy; and the galaxy revolves around the center of' the universe. This is the vertical order of the universe. On the other hand, centering on the Sun, the planets Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto all revolve in specified orbits. This is the horizontal order of the universe. The planets are harmoniously ordered, and there is no contradiction or conflict among them. From the perspective of the system of order, a family is a miniature of the universe. Therefore, in a family as well, there is a system of order corresponding to the system of order of the universe, and at the same time there are values that come to be established on the basis of' that system of order.

Corresponding to the vertical order of the universe, a system of vertical value comes to be established in the family. The parents show benevolence to the children, and the children practice filial piety toward the parents. This is the system of vertical value on the family level. When this system is applied to society and the nation, various kinds of values can be derived. Clemency and good governance by the ruler toward the people, and loyalty of the people toward the ruler; the teachers' duty to their students, and the respect and obedience of the students toward their teachers; protection of the junior by the senior, and respect of the junior for the senior; the authority of superiors over the subordinates and the obedience of subordinates to superiors; and so on. All these are vertical values on various levels.

Corresponding to the horizontal order of the universe, a system of horizontal value comes to be established in the family. There is harmonious love between husband and wife, and brotherly love among brothers arid sisters. These, in turn, will develop as views of value toward colleagues, neighbors, compatriots, society, humankind, and so on. These bring forth the values of reconciliation, tolerance, justice, fidelity, courtesy, modesty, mercy, cooperation, service, sympathy, and so on.

If such vertical and horizontal values are maintained in society, then society remains peaceful and develops in a wholesome way. If not, society falls into disorder. These values are not relics from feudal society; rather, they are values that humankind should observe eternally, for the law of the universe is eternal, and the law of human society corresponds to the law of the universe.

Furthermore, the law of' tire universe has individuality, corresponding to which there are individual values as well. All individual beings in the universe participate in the universal order while maintaining their own unique characteristics. In human society as well, each person engages in mutual relationships with other people while building up his or her own character. Individual values include purity, honesty, righteousness, abstinence, courage, wisdom, self-control, endurance, independence, self-help, autonomy, fairness, diligence, innocence, and so on. All of these are values for self-cultivation as an individual.

Such vertical, horizontal, and individual values are not especially new as virtues. They have been taught by Confucius, Buddha, Jesus, Muhammad, and others. Without a philosophical ground to clarify them, however, these values are ambiguous. That is why today such values no longer have any power to persuade people. For that reason, we seek to revive traditional values by providing them with a firm philosophical ground.

D. The Historical Ground for Absolute Value

Whether or not the values explained above can be demonstrated historically becomes an issue as well. Communism asserts not only that natural phenomena develop through struggle but also that human history has been developing through struggle (i.e., class struggle). As explained in the chapter "Theory of History," however, it is not true that history has been developing through struggle, for development can be attained only through harmonious give-and-receive action between subject and object (i.e., leaders and people in society). Struggles have indeed occurred in history, but they cannot be classified as class struggles. To be precise, they were struggles between the forces of relative good and the forces of relative evil. It can also be said that they were conflicts between different systems of value. In other words, they were struggles between, on one side, a party with a purpose that was more in accord with the Way of Heaven (the side of relative goodness) and, on the other side, a party with a purpose that was more in discord with the Way of Heaven (the side of relative evil). There were some cases in which the relatively good side was defeated for some time by the relatively evil side, but in the long run, the relatively good side will always win. As Mencius said, those who have followed Heaven have survived, and those who have not have perished.

Struggles between good and evil were not for the purpose of developing history, but rather for the purpose of turning history toward a better direction (see ch. 8, "Theory of History"). This can be substantiated by an analysis of history. Secular powers have risen and fallen, but religions, which strive to follow Heaven, have managed to survive. Also, the teachings and achievements of saints and righteous men and women have served as models for people in later periods, even though many of those saints and righteous people fell victim to evil forces in their own time. This shows that the Way of Heaven has been working in history and that the Way of Heaven is absolute, and can not be rejected, with impunity, by people in position of power.

Another law of history is that there was a goal already, at the starting point of history. The universe was created according to an ideal (Logos), centering on purpose (the Purpose of Creation). In living beings, there is an idea already inherent within a seed or an egg (imprinted in the genetic structure), and the seed or egg grows according to that idea. Likewise, in human history, there was an ideal at the outset, and history has been developing toward that ideal. That is to say, at the starting point of history, there was a goal to which history was to develop. That was the ideal of a nation, the founding ideal of a country, recorded in mythology or in other forms, and the ideal of humankind, recorded in holy scriptures of' religions.

Human history became sinful as a result of the fall of the first ancestors. Nevertheless, God, by making use of symbols and figures in mythology and in scriptures, has presented the image of the ideal world as envisioned in the original ideal of creation, the ideal world that was lost and should be restored in human history. The ideal pursued by humankind is the world of goodness, peace and happiness. It is the world that exists according with the Way of Heaven. Therefore, the future world that history aims to attain can be expressed as the world according with the Way of Heaven, and the world where the true view of value is firmly established.

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