The Words of the Kingsley Family
When I went to my first workshop close to 30 years ago, I was inspired to join for a number of reasons. One reason was the “vision” presented by the lecturer of how everything in the ”ideal society,” such as economics, politics, arts etc., would center around God rather than around things like power, money and self.
I thought about this recently when I had the opportunity to attend a Christian conference put on by a Focus on the Family sponsored group called ”The Truth Project.”(truthproject.org) This project was started by Dr. Del Tackett who used to be a planning director for the National Security Council under President George H.W. Bush. I attended this conference at a church in New Jersey, and was part of a simulcast which included 34,000 people from around the US as well as several other countries.
The purpose of “The Truth Project,” according to Dr. Tackett, is to “build a systematic and comprehensive biblical worldview that looks at all of life.” Dr. Tackett believes that God has a design not only for His Creation but also for the social systems of human society, such as the family, the economy, the arts, the government etc, and that this design reflects His nature, which Christians associate with the “trinity.” Christians thus have a responsibility to “remake” this world according to God’s image. Dr. Tackett believes that God intended for human society, based upon His design, to become even more beautiful and awe-inspiring than the Creation itself!
This made me think about what God and True Parents are calling us to do. On September 7, 2008, we had a special ceremony commemorating True Parents’ “substantial resurrection.” As a part of the ceremony, we were asked to reexamine our “long-term plan for fulfilling the vision of creating Cheon Il Guk by the year 2013.” That brings to mind several crucial questions. What is our long-term plan? What is the “vision” for the Cheon Il Guk in terms of a Unification worldview which could be applied to all aspects of society?
Hyung Jin Nim has recently talked about the need for us to have a “clear vision” for what we are trying to create. He is developing some very inspiring, specific plans to actualize the 210,000 Unification Peace Temple (see Hyung Jin Nim’s speech from Oct. 11, 2008 at tworiversvip.com) which Father has said must be built by Jan. 2013! In the same way, I believe that in order to build the CIG, we need a “clear vision” and specific plans for actualizing God’s design in each area of society, such as government, arts, health, architecture etc. This is what Dr. Tackett is attempting to do using Christian theology, and he has created a 12-lesson course expressing these ideas. I truly believe that we need to create a Unification worldview with a similar kind of breadth and depth.
I would like to highlight what I believe to be two key components of such a Unification worldview. The first component is the idea that God is a being of harmonized dual characteristics, and, therefore, in order to reflect God’s image, human society (i.e., CIG society) must harmonize Sung Sang (SS) and Hyung Sang (HS), yang (positivity) and yin (negativity). It can be easily seen how this unity occurs in nature when plus and minus ions come together to form something much greater than the sum of their individual parts. For example, chlorine is a gas which can be poisonous in its elemental form, but when it combines with sodium, making unity between a positive sodium ion and a negative chlorine ion, it turns into a substance so essential that life could not exist without it (i.e.,salt). In one sense, sodium could never have known when it was “single” what a singularly powerful transformation would result from its union with such an “undesirable” substance like chlorine gas.
Although this coming together of dual characteristics occurs automatically in nature, it doesn’t usually happen that way in human society where people may choose not to associate with those of opposing viewpoints. In other words, in human society, plus may not want to have give and take with minus. For example, it seems pretty clear that a part of God’s nature is reflected in the Republican Party, while another part is reflected in the Democratic Party. However, they often view each other in a very negative way, and, at least in the past, have often focused on what the other side is missing rather than on what they can do to fill each other’s gaps. Clearly, God’s design is for both sides to come together to create something much better than each could produce individually ( i.e., they can become the “salt of the earth”).
Some have speculated that the Republican Party seems to embody more male-type characteristics or yang attributes and the Democratic Party more female or yin attributes. For example, Republicans believe more in a strong military presence in other countries and a strong national defense at home. They generally promote less government and more reliance on the free market and individual initiative to solve problems. Democrats are more likely to talk about making consensus when it comes to foreign policy, and are more likely to focus on “kitchen-table issues” such as health care, paying for college etc. They generally believe in a government which takes a more activist role in solving societal problems.
Newsweek magazine stated in an article before the election that the “Republicans have seemed fatherly and tough…the Democrats, motherly and soft.” (Newsweek, Oct. 27, 2008, pg. 36) So Republicans and Democrats need to come together in order to reflect more fully God’s nature of harmonized dual characteristics. Of course, the actual substance of this unity, and the types of “Headwing” policies resulting from it, would be subject to debate and discussion (see last paragraph).
In addition, each sector of the CIG society, I believe, would reflect this harmony of dual characteristics within God’s nature. It is thus up to us (and our 2nd Gen) to research how this could potentially be accomplished in each field. Our CARP groups may be uniquely suited to conduct such a “research of principles.” For example, in music, there are yin and yang parts of the same musical composition, but there may also be certain types of music which, in the CIG, could potentially be combined in ways never before experienced. A number of years ago, I experienced firsthand the potential of bringing disparate parts together musically. I had the opportunity to visit a Messianic Jewish congregation in Washington DC, which is comprised of Jewish people who believe in Christ. For the first time in my life, I heard Christian hymns being sung in Hebrew. I grew up in the Jewish tradition but I had never experienced such a thing before. It was truly awe-inspiring! It gave me a taste of what it would have been like if the connection between Judaism and Christianity had not been severed. I truly believe that God has this and many more “surprises” in store for us when things come together in the CIG which previously had been divided.
Another example is in the area of health. There seems to be a significant divide between what might be called Eastern and Western medicine. Eastern medicine seems to emphasize more internal/spiritual and natural solutions to health problems.
Western medicine seems to focus more on scientific research and using chemically-oriented remedies. At the present time, although things may be changing somewhat, the practitioners of the more SS-type approach, such as acupuncture and chi gung, are often at odds with the practitioners of the more HS-type approach. Another way to describe it is that “Western medicine acts upon the yin of the body, the substance of the body, the actual cells and chemicals,” while “Oriental medicine works more on the yang or the energy that animates those cells.” So in order to reflect God’s design for the CIG society(i.e., harmonized dual characteristics), it is imperative that the “best” elements of Western and Eastern medicine come together. Our movement could potentially sponsor discussions between practitioners of these different healing methods in order to guide our society in such a direction. Of course, when dealing with a holistic approach to health, other spiritual, psychological and physical factors would also need to be incorporated.
The second key component of such a Unification worldview, I believe, would be an emphasis on family (based on the four realms of heart). Dr. Sang Hyun Lee wrote in Explaining Unification Thought (pg. 93) that “a school, a commercial company, a social organization, and a nation are extended forms of a family in the Unification Principle view.”
What does this mean exactly? Dr. Lee, in a 4-day workshop he gave in June 1994 at the New Yorker (Note: if anyone has the notes or video for this conference, please let me know), said that we need to explain in more “concrete detail” how the “family as the model” applies to social institutions. He explained that “such clarity is an essential step in the public acceptance of Rev. Sun Myung Moon’s vision for the future.” (UNews, July 1994)
How could the concept of extended family be applied to neighborhoods as well as other kinds of social organizations within the CIG society? In the CIG, I believe, neighbors would not only know each other’s names but would be profoundly involved in each other’s lives. Children would treat other children in the neighborhood like they were their brothers/sisters or cousins, while adults would be looked upon as surrogate parents/grandparents or aunts/uncles. Also, neighborhoods would be organized in such a way as to promote a more vibrant community life. Possibly the center of each neighborhood would have a clubhouse, playing fields, meeting rooms, screens for movie viewing etc.
Instead of having many individual family dwellings, there would probably be more family-style compounds in which at least three generations would live. The grandparents would have their own place next to the parents. Maybe some cousins or aunts and uncles would also live or visit there frequently. The relationships between the three generations and the other relatives would carry over to relationships in the neighborhood “family.”
Senior citizens would perhaps help children with homework as well as using their many talents to provide numerous activities for children in the neighborhood. At the same time, children could help seniors in multiple ways, not the least of which would be to provide a listening ear to the telling of seniors’ life stories.
Businesses, sports teams, schools etc. would be like extended families. One can take a look at some current businesses which reflect this type of family-centered ethic. For example, there is a fast-food company called Chick-Fil-A which was started by a dedicated Christian man named Truett Cathy. If you go to the website (Chick-Fil-A.com)and click the links relating to the breakfast menu items, you can see a video showing how the Cathys have modeled their successful business after their own family.
Another example is the Grameen Bank, which was created by Muhammad Yunus, the Nobel Prizewinning economist from Bangladesh. This bank gives small loans to poor people who have been refused by other banks who consider them to be high risks. One of the major reasons for the Grameen Bank’s great success, according to Prof. Yunus, is the family-type support system it has established. Each person receiving a loan is required to meet in weekly family-style groups which ensure that each of their members repays loans in a timely fashion.
In order to create and promote this systematic Christian worldview which can apply to “all of life,” Focus on the Family has reportedly invested 2 million plus dollars, and has already trained 600,000 people in over 20 countries. They are very serious about inspiring Christians to apply Biblical principles towards the “remaking” of society in His image.
In the same way, I firmly believe that we as Unificationists need a “clear vision” of how we can actualize God’s design in each area of the CIG society, such as in politics, the arts, health etc. If you are as excited as we are about such possibilities, then you might want to check out our new discussion group on the web we are calling CIG NOW!
You can access this at the BFA website (blessedfamilies.org) under the link “BFA Groups.” We have already started discussions in CIG Science/Religion, CIG Politics, and CIG Family. Ultimately our plan is to initiate discussion relating to each sector of the CIG society, such as “CIG Health, CIG Arts, CIG Architecture etc. We would also eventually like to have 1st Gen-2nd Gen teams who can become facilitators of these discussions in each area. So please join us if you if you would like to share ideas about how we can build the CIG NOW! Aju!