Unification Thought

By Dr. Sang Hun Lee

Chapter III - Critique of Major Traditional Viewpoints of Substance

Through the above explanation, the ontological view of the Unification Principle, and the basic differences (of standpoint) between the Unification Principle and traditional philosophies should be clear. Now for reference, the traditional views of substance (essence) will be criticized and compared with that of the Unification Principle.

(i) Plato (427-347 B. C)

Plato regarded "idea" and khora as separate from one another. Calling the cosmic essence "idea", Plato recognized khora (hyle) as another element which existed with idea. This resulted in dualism. He further recognized Demiurgos as the maker (God) of individual beings, constructing them out of the khora (hyle), material). But he did not clarify the relations of causality, and of order (prior and posterior) among them. Thus his view may be said to be pluralistic because it is obvious from his assertions that idea and khora are not attributes of Demiurgos. Accordingly, in Plato, the source of idea and khora is left unclarified. He set up a teleological cosmology in that Demiurgos created the universe for goodness' sake, but the reason that creation was necessary was not clarified.

His ontology is equivalent to the theory of the Original Image in the Unification Principle, in that idea corresponds to Sung Sang (strictly speaking, Inner Sung Sang), and khora to Hyung Sang. In Plato's view Demiurgos is God, but his God can hardly be looked upon as a personal being, so it is unlike the personal God of Heart of the Unification Principle. If we do have to make a comparison to the theory of the Original Image, Demiurgos is equivalent to the Inner Sung Sang of the Original Image, particularly its will part. But as already clarified in the section on the Original Image, the Inner Sung Sang did not mold the Hyung Sang using the Inner Hyung Sang as Demiurgos molded khora using the idea as the pattern. That is, the Logos was formed through the give-and-take action between the Inner Sung Sang and Inner Hyung Sang (concept, idea, law, etc.) and creation was brought about through the give-and-take action between the Logos and the Original Hyung Sang (hyle). This is God's process of creation.

(ii) Aristotle (384-322 B.C.)

The ontological viewpoint of Aristotle is also dualistic. According to him, his eidos is equivalent to Plato's idea and his hyle to Plato's khora. Idea transcends the actual world but eidos is imminent in individual matter, where it is manifested as the structure, shape and function of the individual. Khora is pure undetermined material, but hyle is determined material with a definite actual shape. Aristotle thought the eidos and hyle, which composed a concrete individual, each had their own causes. He called the cause of eidos, causa prima (prote aitia) or eidos of eidos, and he called the cause of hyle, materia prima (prote hyle). The former means first (final) cause, the latter first material. Thus there are some differences of concepts between Plato and Aristotle, but they are the same in that they regard these two elements as the ultimate substance. Thus Aristotle's ontological view is also dualistic.

But in dealing with God, Aristotle did not establish God as separated from eidos and hyle as Plato had, but rather regarded the causa prima itself as God. He said the eidos of eidos was the causa prima (pro te aitia) or forma prima (prote eidos) and called it nous or God. So according to him, God is nous or thinking or mind, and hyle (prote hyle) is another being separated from God. Finally, however, the source of hyle was left unclarified. Now let us criticize these concepts of eidos and hyle in relation to the theory of the Original Image. Seemingly eidos and hyle are equivalent to the Sung Sang and Hyung Sang of the Universal Image of an individual truth body, but this is not true. The eidos of Aristotle means shape, structure, function and the like, of a mere individual and the hyle means only its material.

But the Sung Sang in the Unification Principle means the invisible aspect of an individual, so only the function aspect of eidos is equivalent to Sung Sang. For example, the physicochernical action in inorganic matter, the life in plants, the instinct and physical mind in animals, the physical mind and spirit man in human beings all correspond to Sung Sang.

The shape, structure, and size in eidos, including the material (hyle), belong to the Hyung Sang of the Unification Principle. In the Principle, the invisible is Sung Sang and the visible is Hyung Sang, yet the ultimate causes of the Sung Sang and Hyung Sang in the individual truth body are the Original Sung Sang and Original Hyung Sang of the Original Image. The Original Sung Sang and Original Hyung Sang seem to correspond to causa prima and materia prima of Aristotle. However the Original Sung Sang and Original Hyung Sang in the Principle, are God's attributes, and neither of them can be God Himself. Thinking (mind) and material (hyle) are His attributes. Especially since thought and matter are not truly totally disparate, they can not but be God's attributes. Thus the dualism of Aristotle is discredited and monism is suggested by the Unification Principle.

(iii) Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274)

Thomas Aquinas, the most prominent theologian and philosopher of the Middle Ages, adapted the above-mentioned concepts (eidos and hyle) of Aristotle to theology, setting up a theory that the causa prima was God, and hyle was made by God from nothing. Accordingly, his concept of God is also as a pure spiritual being with no material content (hyle). This sort of view of God seems to have been typical in Christianity. But it is impossible to clarify how God can create material from nothing. In other words, Aquinas left the question of how material can be made from spirit unsolved, just as materialism left the question of how spirit can be produced from material unsolved. This question can easily be answered through Unification Thought. As already mentioned, mind, and matter are not the basic substances (essence) of the world of cause, but rather are attributes of the Absolute Being. Therefore, they are not totally disparate in nature. Material (hyle), in the world of the Original Image, is a Logos-bearing force, and mind (spirit) in the world of the Original Image, means a force-bearing Logos or force-bearing mind. In other words, in the world of cause, mind has force (power) and force has mind. The difference between both the attributes is not radical and essential but only a difference of degree; the difference is only that between subject and object, motion and stillness, activity and passivity, and the like. If there were a true and essential difference between them there could be no give-and-take action between them. Consequently, mind and material (matter, hyle) were not created by God but were originally attributes of the Original Being (God) in the world of the ultimate cause.

(iv) Descartes (1596-1650)

Descartes also set up a dualism by regarding matter and mind as quite different. He arrived at the proposition "cogito, ergo sum" through methodical doubt (doute mkhodique). He was convinced of the originality and independence of mind and looked upon the essentiality of mind as thinking (speculation). He asserted the following: "Mind is so clear and distinct [clair et distinct] that it can not be questioned. And it is also obvious that mind perceives objective matter and that objective matter exists as the object of sense." Recognizing the certainty of the existence of matter besides the existence of mind, he called its attribute extension, because he thought that all matter occupied a definite space. Although thinking and extension are substance (essence), according to him they are not the ultimate substance. He considered the true substance to be God, and thinking and extension rely on God. Although mind and matter rely on God, they are original elements each separate from the other; and, since his view was that thinking and extension (mind and matter) are independent of each other and quite different in nature, his ontological view is also dualistic. Such a dualism of mind and matter brings about the following difficult problem. Since mind and matter are two quite independent substances, there can be no direct interaction between them. And as they are two completely different elements, a partition wall lies between them.

To solve this problem, Descartes' successors such as Arnold Geulincx (1624-1669) and Nicole de Malebranche (1638-1715) proposed occasionalism. This is the theory that mind and matter are unable to interact directly except that the Almighty God is able to connect the two.

For example, when any movement develops in either the mind or matter, making this movement the occasional cause (cause occationalls) God will give rise to another movement in the other side. This occasionalism was eventually applied even to epistemology, in order to solve the question of how a mind with no spatial area can recognize matter which has space. Thus God was interposed to solve the mind and matter issue. The fault of this theory which is unacceptable nowadays originates in Descartes' dualism.

In the Unification Principle, the difference between the Sung Sang and Hyung Sang, mind and matter, is not considered an essential difference. Since the difference is only one of degree in the world of cause, matter can act upon mind and mind act upon matter. There can be a direct give-and-take action between them and recognition can also occur.

(v) George Wilhelm Hegel (1770-1831)

Next I will mention the substance of Hegel's philosophy. Hegel expressed God as Absolute Spirit, Reason, Logos, Absolute Intellect, Being (Sein), Thesis, etc. All these are known to be equivalent to the eidos of Aristotle.

If Logos corresponds to eidos, then what is the relationship between Logos and matter (hyle, Materie)? As is widely known, his philosophical system consists of Logic, Philosophy of Nature, and Philosophy of Spirit, and his system deals with the dialectical process of the self-realization of God. The dialectical process means that God has development in Himself and then develops into nature and finally returns to the Absolute Spirit (Himself). Yet Hegel explains God in his Logics in a dialectical way. God is reason and mind and is equivalent to "Being" in his dialectics: Being (Sein)-Not Being (Nich ts) -Becoming (Werden); and to "Essence" (Wesen) in the dialectical method of Being (Sein)-Essence (Wesen)-ldea (Begriff). But the concept of matter (Materie, hyle) is not contained in either Being or Essentiality. [Note: In the triad of Being-Not Being-Becoming, and Being-Essence-Idea, when the actual process (natural world) is dealt with (in other words, when the triad of his dialectics is applied to actual processes), "Being" means an undetermined, mere finite being, that is, anything that is merely existing itself; but, in the case where these dialectics are applied to the world of God before creation, "Being" means pure Logos as indeterminability.]

His dialectical structure has been known as thesis-antithesis-synthesis, affirmation-negation-negation of the negation, etc. So not only Being-Not Being-Becoming, and Being-Essence-Idea, but also the three stages of the process of Logic-Nature-Spirit, in his Enzyklopedie, coincide with the principle of the thesis-antithesis-synthesis. Therefore, though he did not touch on the relationship between God and matter in the world of God prior to creation, the relationship may be guessed according to his theory of dialectical development. He said that the outer development of the Logos was nature, but this brings up the question of how Logos, a spiritual and rational being, can develop into material nature. Since Hegel never dealt with this directly, we have to guess what his viewpoint would have been. According to his dialectics, since the thesis contains its antithesis in itself, and the affirmation connotes negation, the motions from thesis to antithesis, and from affirmation to negation come to occur.

According to his Enzyklopedie, nature is the outwardly developed Logos. Namely Logos developed outwardly to become nature. In other words, in creation the movement from Logos to nature occurred. So we can not but consider that nature (matter) was contained in the Logos as its antithesis or negation and as such it was possible for nature to exist. It may have been the dialectical viewpoint of Hegel that God Himself was a unity of Logos and matter. Because Hegel regarded God as pure spirit or reason, even though God contains matter within Him, matter must be a different element (Anders) from God, not part of God. In other words, though matter is contained in God as His antithesis, its source should be somewhere other than God. Then where is its source? Hegel couldn't clarify this point. Because Hegel regarded God as pure spirit, reason, or Logos, such a question came about.

As already mentioned, the Logos is not God Himself but one of His attributes (Original Image) along with reason and matter. Furthermore reason and matter are not completely different but rather relative elements with common features. So the natural world did not come about by the thesis-antithesis-synthesis process; that is, not by the negation or antithesis, but rather by the Chung-Boon-Hap process, or in other words by the G-T action between the Sung Sang and Hyung Sang. However, Hegel also raised another question. Why would the motion to antithesis develop and the development from the affirmation to the negation appear when the thesis (affirmation) contains an antithesis (negation)? It is groundless and irrational that a developing movement would appear when the thesis is denied by an antithesis. According to the Unification Principle, all developing movement in the objective (Outer) and subjective (Inner) worlds comes from the dynamic Chung-Boon-Hap action centering on Purpose (Heart). Therefore, the development of concepts also comes from a dynamic C-B-H action centering on the Purpose (desire) to attain a better concept (knowledge). [Note: In the book Logic, regarding Being in the dialectic of Being-Not Being-Becoming as Logos, Hegel looked upon "Not Being" as complete erpptiness (Vollkommene Leerheit), indeterminability (Bestimmungslosigkeit) and contentlessness (Ingaltlosigkeit). This view does not mean that "Not Being" denies matter, but rather means that matter is indeterminability, and contentless void. Accordingly this "Not Being" can be regarded as the other being (Sein Anders) of Logos (essentiality), non-being (Nichtsein) or nature prior to being determined by the Logos. Edward Erdmann, Kuns Fischer and Tatchito Takechi agreed with these concepts. (See Dialectical Problems by Takechi, p. 61-62. and Logical System of Hegel by Takechi, p. 119-150]

(vi) Karl Marx (1818- 1883)

It is widely known that Karl Marx regarded matter as being the basic substance, while Hegel looked upon spirit (thinking, concept) as that substance. To Marx, spirit (mind) is the secondary element derived from matter. Succeeding Hegel's dialectic, Marx set up the materialistic dialectics or dialectical materialism. He maintained that the world (nature) developed not by means of the dialectic of the Logos or concept but rather by means of the dialectics of material itself. To the best of Marx's knowledge, actual nature (determined nature) never appeared through the action of Logos upon undetermined nature, but nature itself or material itself originally contained the physicochernical laws and the law of contradiction. Therefore, he opposed the concept of anything like reason or Logos acting upon nature.

But such a viewpoint of matter raises a further serious question. In the first place, what is the accurate view of material? In the second place, to say that matter itself originally has laws is the same as saying that matter itself originally has Logos. Then why isn't matter itself indeterminable from the beginning rather than determined? The recent scientific viewpoint of matter has come to contradict that of Marx. In the age of Marx, matter was considered as an objective being with a definite mass occupying a definite space. According to the current scientific view of material, however, the atom which was considered the smallest unit of matter is no longer the ultimate unit, and the basic cause of material is energy having aspects both of waves and particles with neither space nor mass. From this view of an incorporeal element with no mass, matter and spirit (mind) are all the same. Accordingly, to say that matter has determinability (law) from the beginning means that reason (Logos) was originally in such an incorporeal element. In the Unification Principle, the cause of matter (hyle) is regarded as the Hyung Sang of the Original Image. But Hyung Sang is not a solitary being but rather is involved in a give-and-take action with the Sung Sang (Logos). Thereby mass originally has determinability. To put it more accurately, the Original Image of the Original Being is formed through the perfect unity between the Original Sung Sang and Original Hyung Sang. Therefore, in the actual world the Sung Sang element (heart, mind) is contained in matter and a kind of energy, the Hyung Sang element, is contained in Sung Sang (mind).

(vii) Oriental Philosophy-Sung-Ih Hak

Finally I would like to touch upon the Ih-Kih Theory of Sung-Ih Hak, a kind of oriental philosophy. Sung-Ih Hak was founded by Chu-tsu (1130-1200) who was a famous Confucianist of the Song-dynasty of China. His philosophy (Sung-Ih Hak) is known as the dualism of Ih and Kih. Ih and Kih are the substance of the universe. They co-exist and can not exist independently of each other. According to Chu-tsu, Ih is the principle of the cosmos which exists within all things, and is a kind of reason and law which makes Kih act. Kih is the Yang Yin, positivity and negativity, and matter ,which causes all things to be formed. Accordingly Ih is invisible, while Kih is visible in the world of phenomena.

According to Yuk (the oldest oriental philosophy) the ultimate cause of the universe is the Taegeuk. The Taegeuk gave rise to both Euil (Eum and Yang); both Eui gave rise to the four Sang (elements); the four Sang produced the eight Kwai (factors), and the eight Kwai gave birth to all things. Therefore the Taegeuk is the unified body of Eum Yang (the negative and positive). But Chu-tsu regarded the Taegeuk as mere Ih, so to him, the Taegeuk and the Eum Yang (negative and positive) are different from each other (dualism). The Ih-Kih Theory seems to be similar to Aristotle's theory of eidos and hyle and the Ih seems to correspond especially to Hegel's Logos. This fact means that Sung-lh Hak had the same difficulties as the philosophies of Aristotle and Hegel. That is to say, if Ih (reason) is regarded as the Taegeuk (ultimate cause), and the Taegeuk is different from Kih, the origin of Kih is not clarified, and the reason all things should come into being from Ih Kih (reason and force) is not made clear.

By the Ih-Kih theory, the formation of the cosmos is only inevitable by law, and not purposeful by any definite motive. In the universe, particularly in the world of living things, there are many purposeful phenomena. Such phenomena can not be understood without recognizing a purposeful motive. Though Chu-tsu added an ethical element to Ih (reason) and clarified that Ih was not only law but also virtue, it is still difficult to explain the purposefulness of movement in the universe merely by such a method of explanation.

In order to recognize the purposeful movement (development) of the universe, the necessity for Ih and Kih to combine should be explained by a certain purposeful motive. If this problem can be solved through purposefulness, then the cosmos should be regarded not as having been generated, but as having been created. These weak points of Oriental thought would be completed by recognizing an emotional element (Heart) in the Taegeuk, and by regarding Ih and Kih as the attributes of the Taegeuk. That is, when the Taegeuk is dealt with not as reason itself, but as substance (essence) having Heart, and Ih and Kih as its attributes, all the insufficiencies of Sung-lh Hak are completely resolved. Because Ih corresponds to Sung Sang and Kih to the Hyung Sang of the Unification Principle, and because the interaction between Ih and Kih is carried out centering on Heart (Purpose), the view that the universe is formed in a direction where the Purpose can be realized is established.

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