The Words of the Kunkel Family

A Blessed Child and a Light Bulb

Geros Kunkel
August 1, 2012

"I have not failed. I've just found 10.000 ways that won't work!" - Thomas A. Edison

An important concern in our movement has always been how to raise, educate, and relate to our Second Generation. Through working in this field I have come across a lot of views, ideas and comments; through these I have been able to see and identify some trends amongst our changing leadership that reflect these differing views and understandings. From my understanding, it is an absolutely central issue to how our movement develops and views itself. It is not an issue that changes like a trend. Therefore, I believe it requires deeper thought to come to good and clear conclusions; and importantly to evaluate how well we are dealing with this issue. With this essay I want to put a few central thoughts to paper, knowing that all issues regarding the education of our Blessed Children cannot be addressed here. However, we should come to a basic shared view and understanding that can help us guide the direction of our education and the approach we take.

Our understanding of what a 'Blessed Child' is, and what internal attitude we should have in relating to them, is a crucial matter that demands our deep reflection. As I believe it will define, whether we will be able to help Blessed Children succeed in their God-given mission in this difficult and confusing time of the providence. When building a house, the foundation of the house is vital. If it is off by just one degree, the whole house built upon it can be crooked and will need to be torn down later. I think in terms of securing and developing God's lineage, we are at such an important time, if our understanding and the foundation we secure at this time is built on a lack of deep understanding, we may build a crooked building and lose all efforts made so far. We learn in the Divine Principle that to determine the value of anything, we need to understand its purpose; that which is determined by its creator. Many things in the material world are easy to assess from this point of view e.g. we know a pen was invented and created for the purpose of writing. If we hold a pen that can no longer write, it has little value to us. Conversely, for someone who is ignorant of its purpose, it is just a curious little rod – neither is fulfilled.

But not all things to us are as obvious and easy to place, especially things that have a deeper spiritual significance, rather than a more obvious material function. True Father, who is surely one of the greatest spiritual creators and inventors, has brought forth many inventions and creations; that, by their internal nature, we do not always easily understand. Therefore, it is hard for us to accurately place them and see their meaning or true depth of value.

The most important invention of our True Father is the Blessed Child, yet it is hard for us to fully appreciate it. Blessed Children themselves don't often feel or understand their value. Parents often conclude that they are not much different from other children after all, whilst to leaders they are often just 'young members', defined and viewed primarily by their age, as members of their community. Evidently, it is not easy to see their value in the same way that True Father might, and accurately appreciate this new invention, because its value and significance is not always apparent to us. I would like to compare this invention to Edison's invention of the electric bulb, in the hope to shed some new light on this issue.

The invention of the incandescent light bulb was a significant invention, that all of us appreciate today. Building upon the work of many before him, Edison successfully invented the first lasting electric light bulb. It is easy for us to appreciate and understand its significance, and give full credit to the inventor; through hard work and genius he created something which benefits us every day.

If somebody today would look at Edison's first successful light bulb and comment: "What value does this light bulb have? It is barely brighter than a candle, it is incredibly fragile, and compared to today's light bulbs it is really no good!" Although his arguments are not wrong in themselves, from a certain perspective, surely that person would be regarded as a fool. Admittedly, Edison's bulb was not the brightest source of light in its time and compared to the light technology we have available today, it has been surpassed unimaginably. But when we appreciate Edison's light bulb, it is not its performance that we appreciate. It is the fact that it exists. It marks the change from the time before electric light to the time with electric light. Up until then, maybe some people dreamed of the possibility of creating electric light, but it was just a dream. This invention opened the door to all the future inventions and improvements that followed, which would have been impossible without it.

I think that when we look at Blessed Children, we can easily be 'the fool' who fails to recognize their significance. Indeed, Blessed Children are not that different from other children. Their 'light' is not necessarily much brighter if we look at it from a very external perspective and try to evaluate their current performance. When we look at what we hope they could be in an ideal world, they are also far from an ideal person. So what is so special about them? It is really not apparent to the untrained eye.

Similarly, we can be sure, that to properly appreciate their value and to bring out the potential for further development in the invention of blessed children it makes little sense to compare them with other people of their time, nor to compare them with the ideals of the future, just like it makes little sense to compare Edison's light bulb to candles or today's modern light technology. Instead, we choose to appreciate Edison's light bulb by recognizing the effort and genius of its creator and by seeing the potential it created. This perspective allows us to work on improving this invention and bringing forth its immense inherent potential.

The significance of a Blessed Child is not its performance but the fact that it exists and the potential it bears. Through the fall, a terrible tragedy happened; God lost his lineage. Subsequently, we understand that God has worked tirelessly through the history of restoration to recreate his son, as a starting point of a new lineage. With our True Parents this was established. As the Messiah's central mission, True Father needed to create a formula with which Mankind, connected to the fallen lineage by birth, could be reborn in a new lineage -- God's lineage. The Blessing is a contract True Father was able to make with both God and Satan; that people who would follow True Parents and fulfill the conditions of the Blessing could be claimed as Blessed couples. This means that God could recognize these couples and as long as they remained faithful to God, True Parents and each other, God could also recognize their sexual relationships. Consequently, through them people could be born whose original point of existence, the love relationship of the parents, could be recognized by God. This is something unprecedented in the whole of human history -- as long as this child can maintain his/her purity and live a life of faith, there is no condition for Satan to have any existential claim on this person.

This does not mean that this person cannot sin. By growing up in an imperfect world, with the heritage of the fallen lineage we still carry, inevitably Blessed Children can commit sins and are still far from the ideal we strive to uphold. Nevertheless, the possibility that human beings can grow up without connection to the fall is there. The fact that such human beings exist is a threat to Satan, who will surely do all he can to corrupt blessed children. Nevertheless, this does not in any way undermine the original value of this amazing creation of True Father, an invention that allows the fallen lineage to be transformed and God's lineage to exist on earth. We know it will still take many more subsequent generations for mankind to be restored, nevertheless God's lineage exists on earth and mankind can be born without an existential claim from Satan.

If we appreciate Blessed Children from this perspective and we recognize the enormous historical investment God, True Parents and the Blessed couples made to bring forth Blessed children, we can also see their potential for fulfilling God's original ideal through them. God's original ideal never changed and is absolute for all eternity, but the possibility of fulfilling it did not exist until True Parents could bring forth Blessed Children, as faulty as they may be.

Father is continuously and uncompromisingly working to further develop his invention and offer God the fulfillment of his ideal here on earth. Anyone who has ever heard him talk to Blessed children on the value of purity and lineage, knows that he is uncompromising there, because the real value of a blessed child is not his accomplishments, but the lineage he carries: God's lineage. The Cheon-Il-Guk couples father is offering to God, as a textbook for all of mankind, is the closest he has to offering God the fulfillment of his ideal; Blessed children born without an existential claim from Satan, who kept their purity despite growing up in this fallen world, and receive their partner through absolute faith in True Parents.

When we look at it from this perspective, we understand that the existence of Blessed children marks a turning point in history that holds the potential to finally fulfill God's ideal. If so, then we should value each Blessed Family, and each Blessed Child as such. It makes no sense to focus on evaluating the performance of Blessed Families, True Father is saying that "it is not allowed to criticize a Blessed Family". Why? Because True Father does not evaluate them based on their performance. True Father knows very well that they have difficult burdens to carry, that maybe not all of them will make it and their performance will be far from the ideal we strive towards. The same attitude should be applied to Blessed Children, as we do to Blessed Couples. Father took responsibility for the Blessed Families in front of God and Satan, so if we criticize or diminish their value, we hurt True Parents. Every Blessed Child is the incarnation of the effort of God in history to restore his children, and represents the hope of God to establish his ideal in their lineage through them. Therefore, every Blessed Child lost is an immense loss and pain for both God and True Parents. This cannot and should never be treated lightly.

We need to come to value our Blessed Families and Blessed Children from God's perspective. Seeing their value in terms of the accumulated effort over the generations that God invested to create them, as well as the potential they represent to God in terms of finally fulfilling his ideal and liberating Mankind. It is easy to misunderstand what God's perspective is. When the first Blessed Children were born, members expected them to be angels and had great and unrealistic expectations towards them. This often led to disappointment and confusion in parent-child relationships. Now there is rather the opposite trend; not to see or appreciate their value, to not differentiate anymore and see them as just simply 'the youth of our movement'. It seems we don't want to differentiate or emphasize the value of being a Blessed Child, because we don't want to hurt or offend anyone, we need to be politically correct. Some Second Generation leaders may even be accused by leaders for focusing on taking care of Blessed Children, as they seem to believe we need to be open, treat and even educate people the same way, be they Blessed Children or new guests. But this is too simple. Blessed Children do not need to be 'converted', they need to grow up to fully feel and appreciate who they are from God's perspective. It is not about being converted to a specific faith, the Unification tradition; it is about realizing and accepting who we are from God's perspective and gaining the confidence to live up to it. This is the challenge for our Blessed Children. It is not easy, especially if we as Blessed Families are not confident about who we are, and who the Blessed Children are.

In education this means we need to raise a clear awareness of the value of the lineage of a Blessed Child. Not because they should be arrogant towards others, but so that they can appreciate and protect the most valuable thing God has on earth, the lineage that they carry within them. They need to be aware of their value, not for their sake, but because their value is for God and the future of God's providential work. What better way to protect our Blessed Children, than giving them a deep and profound understanding of the value of their existence from God's perspective? If Blessed Children can be proud of who they are, can identify with it and feel that the Blessed Families appreciate and value them, they can start to can live up to its value. If they are ignorant of its value and treated as simple youth or even told they are no better, or just as sinful as others, how can they fulfill their potential in God's eyes? Even though these arguments or statements may be 'true' on some level, they fail to recognize the deeper meaning behind things. Often arguments that may seem true or logical can instead blind us from seeing the deeper meaning and significance of things.

In terms of the Blessing, we also call Blessed Children 'Second Generation'. Meaning they are the Second Generation of God's lineage, after their parents, who through the Blessing and change of lineage became the first Generation to receive the Blessing from the True Parents and inherit the lineage of God. Now that also Second Generation have been blessed and have children we have Third Generation of the Blessing, soon we will have fourth generation etc. If we look at it numerically, we see that this will soon become confusing. We know Second and Third Generation may be blessed together, so why bother differentiating between the generations? This may be true for future Generations, but in terms of first and second Generation it is not only a numerical difference. There is an existential difference. First Generation, coming from a different lineage, need to go a certain course to transform their lineage when receiving the Blessing. For this process they need a partner of the same lineage and following the formula True Parents invented can receive the Blessing and be recognized as a Blessed Couple. Still today True Parents expect all mankind to go through this formula (Holy Wine, Blessing, Indemnity and Three-day Ceremony = Forgiveness of the original sin and the existential transformation from being bride of Satan/son of Satan to being Son and daughter of God). Blessed Children have a different course, be they Second, third or other Generations. It is not about the number, but by their lineage, their point of origin. This is why First and Second Generation should not get matched together. This is most important and we need to value, protect, and create a clear awareness about this and further develop this understanding of lineage if we are to build upon it. We cannot be careless with this issue of God's lineage, if we understand its significance and meaning. There is only one way to change the blood lineage and secure God's lineage as the foundation for Cheon-Il-Guk. First Generation being matched with First Generation and all other Generations (without Original Sin) can be matched amongst each other, if they keep their lineage (purity).

So, what is important in understanding the mission of our Blessed Children? What should Blessed Children achieve, in order to fulfill the hope they represent to God and True Parents? True Father is strongly emphasizing the importance of purity, absolute sex and teaching a pure lifestyle. This needs to be strengthened and emphasized. A clear sense of identity and awareness of our lineage, is a good thing that we should be proud of, especially in our secular environment. It is not about a strict education of 'do this' and 'don't do that', but an active lifestyle that by example should convey confidence, with reason and based on a clear principled understanding and awareness of our identity and value to God. It is much more important to emphasize the value of purity, rather than putting forgiveness and grace in the center. It is great we have forgiveness and that there is grace, but for God this represents pain and if this becomes central, we lose sight of the value of our lineage. One of True Father's main discoveries is the central value Lineage has for God to fulfill his ideal and he managed to secure it after thousands of years of God's effort in restorational history. It is hard for Blessed Children to appreciate their lineage and the importance of keeping their purity, if all that everyone is talking to them about is testifying to the greatness of forgiveness and that mistakes can now more easily be restored. What value does something have if its loss is so easy to recover? But in reality it is not ever possible to completely recover its loss and the difficulties of restoration are not easier. Father always emphasizes purity to us with uncompromising clarity, whilst forgiveness is something Father only gives reluctantly. As he knows the pain it causes God, and as our loving parent, he silently pays the price for our mistakes over and over again. This is an amazing testimony to True Parents and gives us hope, but it is not central to the course of a blessed child and can never be the standard. Even if it is sometimes uncomfortable we need to be clear in how we relate to our Blessed Children.

I think that truly being proud of being a Blessed Child is not arrogance, but rather it is giving testimony to God and True Parents; giving full credit to them and recognizing their amazing accomplishments. Blessed Children know that it is not their accomplishment. It is not being proud, or being ignorant of the value it has to be a Blessed Child that is truly painful to God.

Therefore I believe in order to appreciate True Father's invention, further develop it, and bring out its full potential, we should deeply reflect about how we view Blessed Children. We need to clearly educate them to be aware of their unique value, and support and strengthen them in their difficult task of keeping and developing a pure love lifestyle that will allow God to continue his work of recreating his lineage. For this they need a healthy confidence in the value of their lineage to God. A parent always loves without evaluating, always sees potential and believes in their child and can thereby give value; the deep sense of belonging, as well as confidence, pride and a secure identity. We need to be proud and confident in the blessing and convey this to our Blessed Children. We all know that this is not easy and we sometime lose sight of or doubt the value of the Blessing ourselves, but it starts with reflecting and adjusting our awareness. Then we need to convey confidence in the value of the Blessing, this is something we cannot teach, but our attitude and behavior clearly reveals our heart and conviction. It will not happen automatically, that our Blessed Children will somehow take over our movement or naturally feel their value to God and the providence, if we as a community of Blessed families are not confident in the Blessing and our value, and if the way we treat each other does not reflect our firm conviction and faith in the Blessing and our deep connection to our True Parents.

"What is the significance of the Blessed Families? Satan has no control over the Blessed Families. When they have complete faith in Father and a strong conviction that they belong to True Parents, no matter where they are, Satan cannot violate that. Why is this so? It is because, centering on the heart of True Parents, they have a relationship with the realm of heart of the converted lineage. That is why Satan cannot touch them."
True Father, CSG p. 1273 

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