An Introduction to the Thought of Sun Myung Moon: Unification Thought and V.O.C. Theory

Chapter 5 - Theory of Education

Issues that are related to education, such as the moral degradation of today's youth, sexual immorality, and violence in the classrooms, have already been introduced in earlier chapters. Given the lack of vision, present-day education has lost its sense of direction. Schools have turned into places where knowledge is often simply sold and bought and where teachers have lost their authority. A new theory of education is needed to put an end to the present chaos and open the way for a new world order. This is the reason for introducing the Unification Theory of Education. Theories of education have two aspects: one philosophical, which deals with the fundamental principles of education, and one scientific, which deals with the objective facts related to education. Unification Thought's Theory of Education deals primarily with the philosophy of education and thus with the sungsang aspect of the issue.

I. The Principle Foundation for a Theory of Education

A. The Three Great Blessings and the Three Great Ideals of Education

Education can be described as the process of raising children to resemble God. To resemble God is to grow and come to resemble the Divine Image and Character perfectly. The three great blessings ("be fruitful, multiply, and have dominion…") mean that humankind is to resemble God's nature of perfection, multiplication, and dominion.

To resemble God's perfection through the first blessing is to achieve perfection of one's individuality, to achieve unity of one's spirit mind and physical mind centering on Heart, and to reach a state where one's mind and body are united. To resemble the aspect of God's nature that is related to multiplication by completing the second blessing is to achieve perfection of the family and to come to resemble the harmonious oneness of God's yang and yin nature. For human beings, the harmonious unity of yang and yin means the unity of husband and wife.

For this, the two must complete the course of perfecting their conjugal love. To resemble the aspect of God's nature that relates to dominion by completing the third blessing is to perfect one's creativity. It also means to resemble God's creativity by creating a new being centering on Heart.

In the Unification Theory of Education, the three ideals of education are based on the three great blessings. Hence, the first ideal of individual perfection consists of educating people about how to perfect their personality. The second ideal of family perfection consists of educating people about how to achieve perfection of their family. The third ideal of perfection of dominion consists of educating people about how to exercise their dominion over all things.

B. The Process of Growth of Human Beings

For human beings to resemble God, they need to go through a specific period of growth. Accordingly, human beings only come to resemble God after growing through the three stages of formation, growth and perfection. The process of growth implies that one comes to resemble God's character, the harmony between his yang and yin nature, as well as his creativity. Whereas our physical body grows through the autonomy and dominion of the principle alone (as with the growth of all things), the spirit mind can only grow through the additional completion of a portion of responsibility. Saying that human beings only grow through the fulfillment of their portion of responsibility means that they have to develop their personality by their own effort and responsibility. Thus they can grow by experiencing God's love while observing the norm (the Principle) by their own free will.

II. The Three Forms of Education

The three forms of education must be derived from the three ideals.

Education of Heart is needed for the perfection of the individual, Education of Norm is needed for the perfection of the family, and Education of Dominion, including technical education, intellectual education, and physical education, is needed for the perfection of dominion.

A. Education of Heart

Education of Heart seeks to perfect one's individual character and thus resemble God's perfection. Resembling God's perfection refers to the state where one fully experiences God's Heart and creates unity between one's spirit mind and one's physical mind through give-and-take action centered on Heart. Therefore, the form of education that aims at understanding and experiencing God's Heart can be called Education of Heart and is directed towards the perfection of individuality.

God's Heart is expressed in three different forms. First, there is the Heart of Hope. The creation of Adam and Eve as his first children was God's ultimate hope in creation. During the course of creation, God's Heart was filled with hope and joy in anticipation for their coming. Second, there is the Heart of Sorrow, which corresponds to God's feeling when Adam and Eve, his first children, fell during their growing period and came to be dominated by Satan. This can be compared to what human parents go through when they lose their children, but the degree of intensity of God's pain, based upon the scope of his hope and expectation at the time of creation, can in no way be compared to the human situation. Third, there is the Heart of Suffering. After the human fall, God had to proceed with the providence for restoration. In that process, he had to watch how those figures carrying the central responsibility in his dispensation were persecuted and ridiculed, even killed by Satan's representatives; this caused him unspeakable heartache and suffering.

For this reason, Education of Heart means teaching humans to understand and experience personally these aspects of God's Heart.

Most importantly, God's Heart of suffering and anguish in the course of restoration needs to be conveyed. In so doing, instructors should express God's Heart by their example and through their actions as much as through their words. By imitating their teachers, children will learn to practice God's love in their daily lives and they will be able to inherit his Heart.

B. Education of Norm

Education of Norm is the education that shows how to achieve perfection in one's family life and it is the form of education that teaches men and women to resemble the harmonious unity of God's yang and yin nature when they form a couple. Thus, it is the education that shows how to gain the qualification to become a spouse.

Through the Education of Norm, the mystery and sanctity of sex should be taught with special care. Children should be awakened to the fact that sex is to be experienced only through married life; that until that time it should not be misused under any circumstance; and that after marriage deviation cannot be tolerated.

Education of Norm is an education that guides people to become beings of reason-law by following the Way of Heaven. The Education of Norm should go hand in hand with the Education of Heart. Because Education of Norm teaches humans how to control their actions, it can easily degenerate into an empty and oppressive set of rules if it lacks the element of love.

C. Education of Dominion (Intellectual Education, Technical Education, Physical Education)

1. Education for the Perfection of Dominion

Education of Dominion deals with the perfection of dominion and consists of three aspects. First, intellectual education is concerned with knowledge about the objects over which one has dominion, be they human or material. This is the role of intellectual education. When the object of knowledge is material, education focuses on the natural sciences and when the object is human it focuses on politics, economics, the social sciences, the humanities, and the like. Second, it is necessary to acquire technical know-how in order to develop one's creativity. This is the role of technical education.

Finally, it is necessary to build up one's physical strength to be able to exert dominion. This is the role of physical education. The three taken together – intellectual, technical, and physical education – amount to Education of Dominion.

Let us consider the development of our creativity and the two-stage structure of creation in relationship to education. God's creativity is his ability to realize the two-stage structure of creation, i.e., it is his ability to establish the inner and outer four-position foundations. The acquisition of broad knowledge is needed in order to enhance one's ability to realize an inner four-position foundation.

This means increasing the content (ideas, concepts) of the inner hyungsang. On the other hand, the mastery of technical skills is required in order to improve one's ability to realize an outer four-position foundation. The former refers to intellectual education and the latter to technical education.

2. Education of Dominion Based on Universal Education

Education of Heart and Education of Norm should be acquired equally by all people and constitute universal education. In contrast, Education of Dominion corresponds to the realm of individual differences in the nature and way of learning and is fundamentally an individual-specific education. Universal education and individual education stand in a relationship of sungsang and hyungsang. Hence, individual education (Education of Dominion) must be realized on the basis of universal education (Education of Heart and Education of Norm); the two go hand in hand. Only in this way is a truly balanced education possible.

III. The Image of the Ideal Educated Person

In the Unification Theory of Education, the ideal educated person is introduced in terms of being a person of character, a good citizen, and a "genius." This is the ideal view of the human being corresponding to the three types of education – that of Heart, Norm, and Dominion. Therefore, when seen in terms of the image of the ideal person, Education of Heart may be described as education to develop people of character, Education of Norm may be called education to foster and develop good citizens, and Education of Dominion may be called education to develop people of genius.

A. The Education of a Person of Character

The image of the ideal person in the Education of Heart is that of a "person of character." To become such a genuine person, one has to learn how to experience God's Heart and to practice his original true love in daily life. A person of ideal character has perfected the entire personality, having developed the faculties of intellect, emotion, and will in a balanced way on the basis of Heart. In summary, a person of character practices God's original true love towards all people and all things.

B. The Education of a Good Citizen

The image of the ideal person sought in the Education of Norm is that of a "good citizen." The Education of Norm may be given in schools, but its basis must be taught in the family. Therefore, a person who has received a good standard of Education of Norm in the family can become a good member of the family, society, nation, and world.

C. The Education for the Realization of "Genius"

The image of the ideal person in the Education of Dominion is that of a "genius." Originally, all human beings were endowed with God's creativity. The one who fully manifests this creativity based on the Education of Dominion may be called a "genius." Since human beings have been given individuality, those who fully develop their own creativity will become geniuses in such various fields as music, mathematics, politics, business, administration, and so on. In the environment produced by the human fall, however, people have become unable to fully display their God-given creativity and have tended to settle for mediocrity. That is the reality of the Education of Dominion in fallen society. A summary of the Unification view of education is offered in Table 1.

Table 1: Summary of the Unification Theory of Education 

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