Unification News for August 2001

Hyun Jin Nim in NYC Calls for Counter-Countercultural Revolution

Michael Balcomb

Iíve always been interested in science fiction stories, particularly those involving such ideas as time travel, alternate outcomes, and parallel universes. You know the genre. A man (or less often a woman) is able to go back in time. While in the past, he or she interacts with the environment, either deliberately or unknowingly. Because of that one seemingly insignificant change, the whole future of civilization is changed.

Star Trek explored the theme, as did the popular Twilight Zone series and more recent movies like Back to the Future and Terminator. Writers like Bradbury, Asimov and Clarke and a dozen others explored hundreds of "what ifs." What if Ö the Roman Empire had never fallen? What if Ö penicillin had been invented in 1528 instead of 1928? What if Ö Columbus had not discovered America, Hitler had won World War II, and so on and so on.

For the same reason, it was the frank consideration of alternatives that was one of the most exciting aspects of the Divine Principle when I first heard it in 1976. Here was a religious view that stimulated a strong sense of intrigue and was unafraid to explore the "what ifís" of Godís Providential History. For example, traditional Christianity tends to take the Fall for granted, even developing the doctrine of Felix Culpa, the "happy crime" to explain that God wanted Adam and Eve to fall so that he could later demonstrate the love of Jesus. Divine Principle not only explores what the world would have been like if Adam and Eve had not fallen and lived in obedience to Godís will, but invites us to think of that outcome as a real possibility.

Again, the traditional view of the church I grew up in was that Jesus came to die on the cross. We sang hymns about the fountains filled with blood and the suffering lamb, and never looked back to consider what might have been. True Parents explain that Jesus should have married, had children and created a new and true lineage that would have changed everything.

This same willingness to explore and reevaluate the past is also one of the most stimulating and challenging aspects that Hyun Jin Nim has been bringing to audiences around the world, last year on the Inheritance and Development tour and this year with Service for Peace.

By now we all know about Godís original timetable for America. In 1945, with the end of World War II, God wanted True Father to be accepted by Korean Christians and their American missionary friends. Within seven years, by 1952, Father would have been recognized as the Lord of the Second Advent, come to America and started building the real Kingdom of God. To that end, God had made endlessly delicate preparations in Korea, the United States and around the world.

Yet it was not to be. The divinely prepared individuals and groups never came through. Korea was divided and fell into civil war and anarchy. Father found himself teaching in secret to a handful of prisoners in a North Korean concentration camp instead of educating world leaders at the United Nations, and in the capitals of the civilized world.

Well, we all know what didnít happen. Weíve lived through it. Now Hyun Jin Nim is inviting us to consider what our lives, and those of todayís youth, might have been like if Godís expectation had been fulfilled and Father had been recognized and supported fifty year ago. Understanding that will help us realize just how crucial a time we are living in now, and how the actions of a few people can and will change future history.

For one thing, the first Blessed Children in America would have been born in the early 1950s. We would all have been born blessed children! And then what? By the late 1960s, these youth were in their late adolescence. In Godís plan, he wanted these young teenagers to restore the failure of Adam and Eve, and all generation since, by living lives of chastity and responsibility and service for others.

We can see a glimpse of what might have been through the trials and tribulations of the civil rights movement focused on Dr. Martin Luther King and his young supporters; and from the promise of the youthful John F Kennedy and the Peace Corps. We can imagine what America would be like if millions of young people really were following Kingís Dream and Kennedyís call to "ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country."

Yet, without the underpinning of Godís Word, the youth of the 60sóthe original "Second Generation"ó began to go astray, repeating and even magnifying the mistakes of not only their elders but also of every generation back to Adam and Eve. The search for spiritual ecstasy and union with God was replaced by the easier but more dangerous high of LSD and other psychedelic drugs. The Beatles, an obviously representative group of young people of that era, went to the East but met the wrong teacher, and came back confused, bitter and divisive. The counter culture, when it came, was a culture of the body rather than the mind. The "Summer of Love" turned into the autumn and then the winter of divorce, sexually transmitted diseases and finally AIDS.

The point of all this speculation is not to wallow in pity or regret, nor is it to romanticize the sixties and that lost generation. Distance lends enchantment to almost any view, and thatís certainly true of the view back over our shoulders into recent history. When we look back now at the Summer of Love, we tend to see only the enchantment: flower children, civil rights, student demonstrations over Vietnam, making love and not war, and running through it all the unforgettable music, of Sgt. Pepper, Hendrix, the Doors, the Monterey Pop Festival, and more. In short, the counter culture doesnít look all that bad.

Take a closer look, though, and the romantic gloss starts to tear away. After 1967, family life was never the same. In American and around the world, divorces rose every year, from 20% then to more than 50% now. Sexually transmitted diseases, then a threat to only a very narrow segment of society, became endemic. The inquisitive spirituality and interest in the teachings of the East eventually disintegrated into materialism and selfishness. But to realize how tragic a loss this really was, we need to have that inner perspective of what might have been, what God wanted to happen.

And what do we do if we gain an insight into the last "what if" of providential history? Then, of course, we have to make sure that we do not make the same mistake again. Now is the time for a new generation of Americans in particular, and youth generally, to take up Godís original ideal. That process has to start with a robust spiritual renewal, a call to service and peace.

This, then, was the heart of the message that Hyun Jin Nim delivered with such passion and enthusiasm to the 1200 young members and second generation who crowded into the Manhattan Center last month to hear the World CARP President speak about Godís hope for young people of today.

What if we really do live for others, and not for ourselves? What if we make true love and lineage, not false? What if we do seize this moment to create a new world through service for peace? This is no time to stand aside and speculate. Letís roll up our sleeves once again and get in there.

What if?

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