Articles From the August 1994 Unification News


Beyond Patriarchy and Feminism: "Parentarchal" and "Familarchal" Models of Human Relationship

by John and Marilyn Morris

"Any movement that goes in a straight line will finally come to an end, and no being performing such movement can exist eternally. Consequently, in order to exist eternally, everything moves in circular motion. In order for revolution to occur, the action of give and take between a subject and an object must take place." (Divine Principle, p. 40)

This is in response to the article written by the Quinns in the June UNews which I read with interest. As a continuing theological student, I have found many useful books that help me as a Unificationist better understand the vast concepts of the Principle. However, I would like to caution each of us to be careful when we use models from works written by deep thinkers and doers who have not yet contended with the enormous issues that True Parents have brought to light in the principles they teach.

The Quinns categorized feminist authors as "Cain" type and conservative Christian writers as "Abel" type. At first glance it may appear to be a straightforward assessment. However, we ought to be wary of relegating people into "Cain" or "Abel" areas of thought. Quite often, when we use the word "Cain" it means someone we do not agree with or like. When we use "Abel" it means we found the person to have insights remarkably akin to our own.

We are not saying that we should avoid reading anything apart from the Divine Principle or directly related material. (We will recommend a few books ourselves at the end of this article.) We are saying it may not be in our best interest to use (in wholesale fashion) authors who have not yet grappled with the content of the Principle.

The Divine Principle opens up new realms of human spirituality. To derive advice for the most intimate aspects of our relationships from those who have not yet dealt with these realms may truncate our ability to enact the restoration process.

This response is not a defense of feminist writers, but these women should not be cast into a "Cain" type category simply because they want to throw out the more damaging vestiges of patriarchal thought and behavior. Neither would we advocate authors who use patriarchy as a model, labeling them "Abel" type people. Both have it right and both have it wrong. One group might be closer than the other to the ideal based on their views of the family, but let's consider more closely what we mean by a model family.

When we look at Father and Mother, we see both fulfilling roles within and beyond the home. Apparently, their children have been inspired and motivated by this model and are practicing it themselves. We can now see that their sons and daughters are accomplishing great things in sports, music, academics and commerce, to name but a few of their areas of interest and achievement. They are (and this is important), at the same time, loving fathers and mothers committed to their children.

True Parents represent an ideal towards which their own children and grandchildren are striving. We have the same goal in mind, but also must face and deal with our realm of fallen reality. We are on a restoration course (a re-creation of the ideal), meaning that we often find ourselves moving in what appears to be the opposite direction. Early in our Blessing relationship it became clear that one of us would have to sacrifice more than the other. It seemed unfair, but our circumstances demanded it. Together, after many repentful prayers, we resolved the dilemma. We had spent 7 years with both our bullheaded horns locked in a fierce fight over everything, but the first child on the way forced us to set priorities. What was "subject" to use was not the husband's role, but the relationship itself, which we believed God had given to us as our responsibility.

For ten years, John's mission took the front line for us. Marilyn's mission was, well, to have a child or two or three. Since the children were physically attached to "Omma" for quite some time after their birth, she naturally took the home front.

John also made sacrifices, but while we were creating the relationships and the consequent children from it, Marilyn went with him to his mission area and helped him fulfill the goals that he believed were necessary. It was fortunate that his goals were large and public-minded. This is not always the case with husbands. We have counseled quite a few brothers and sisters. Many times we sensed deep pain in the voices of wives who described their desire to do things for a greater purpose, but had husbands who were reluctant to reach beyond themselves.

Sanity in a marriage does not come from wives obeying their husbands, but from both obeying God.

Before we make any decisions regarding one or the other, we pray together. We have found that when we do not pray, we "pay". We usually end up in contention, no matter who is making the decision. When we enter into a reciprocal relationship with God, the issue gains a new perspective within and between us. Then, we readily come to a resolution.

Father once said that a man could spend all of his life chasing the tail of a tiger in hopes to capture it and hang it on his wall. A woman could spend all of her life taking care of her home and children and not much else. Big visions and small details do not belong to men and women respectively.

Father's instruction in this little lesson is clear. While women are the nurturing aspect of parental responsibility, they should not confine themselves to their homes and families, but reach out to their community, nation and world. Likewise, men have the same responsibility in a naturing way to take care of their family, community, nation and world.

Patriarchy is a vertical straight-line model while feminism might be considered as a horizontal straight-line model. Neither work very well in the long run. As the Divine Principle states, "no being performing such movement can exist eternally."

What we see in the Principle is that parents are involved in and must work out of a dynamic unity. Through this unity and harmony, children find the greatest source of direction and affirmation. True Parents are displaying a "Parentarchal" structure where direction (naturing- initiation-masculine) and affirmation (nurturing-response-feminine) are first unified in the realm of the parents' hearts and then given down to the children as love. Without first having this unity, love cannot come into existence.

As the children mature, the unified realm of parents (subject) must also become involved in and work out of a dynamic unity with youth (object) in much the same way. The "parentarchal" model now extends into its fullest expression as a "familiarchal" model.

Children no more want to receive things in a straight line than women do, or men for that matter. No one really wants to be in a straight line down from God. If it were so, where is the urge to come closer to God derived from? It is Father who declared that God is not complete without humankind and that God's original ideal is to have us in a fully reciprocating relationship with Him. This one concept wreaks havoc in other religious traditions because until True Parents opened up the realm of circular-motion relationship, everyone thought more or less in straight-line concepts. This was especially true about the relationship between God and humankind.

Greatness has to do with how much we love others. In this respect, men and women share a common mandate to become great people and do great things.

True Parents clarify this mandate in our new family pledge. We now promise each Sunday morning to produce positive daily developments and to gather blessings in our lives in order to extend those blessings to others.

Do we automatically come into circular-motion relationships? No. Not even belonging to the Unification community guarantees that we will enjoy this more complete model of relationship. Prior to the "Historical Children's Day" speech of November 1981, we experienced a rather strict vertical structure within our community. God gave revelation and instruction to Father and he obeyed. Then, he gave instruction to our church leadership and they did their best to obey with various abilities to comprehend Father's direction. Members followed suit. This structure was necessary for the sake of restoration. It was necessary for the birth and growth of our movement. (Consider below an explanation of two excerpts from this speech taken from Today's World, January 1982.)

Honestly speaking, if leaders want a better relationship with their members, they must radically alter concepts they held before November 1981. Straight-line models stifle relationships and lock subject and object into roles they really do not want (unless they are selfish and lazy, respectively.) Father gave us the go-ahead to grow up and achieve the same status of relationship with each other that parents enjoy with their adult children.

"Today I am declaring a new beginning: the leader-centered movement is over and the member-centered movement is going to begin.... Those who can harmonize with others will rise higher and higher.... Whether I am present or not should not matter, for you already know the secret of going to heaven-loving each other."

When Adam and Eve fell, they voided the process of growth under God's original ideal. Father often equates restoration with re-creation. We can also think of restoration as "re-growth." Cain and Abel inherited the fallen state of their parents and thus had to go through a restoration or "re-growth" process. Until True Parents arrived, humankind had no absolute vertical point around which they could harmonize horizontally. This included husbands and wives; thus St. Paul's best insight into the relationship was more or less a straight- line model of obedience rather than a circular-motion concept of love. Christian writers, with all the best intent, are somewhat limited by St. Paul's and other biblical descriptions of human relationship.

As Father and Mother opened up greater realms of heart, they could then extend the same to us. "On the journey towards Canaan [the ideal], our supreme duty is to follow orders, but once we enter Canaan, we no longer live by commands, but by love. This is that time. We are now arriving, and we must live in a God-like way."

We have had 12 years to implement the promise of this speech. Marilyn was present when Father gave it and she clearly remembers the tingle that went down her spine as she realized that Father was creating a profound shift in human history. The Unification community may be in the fulcrum of that shift, but all other communities in the human family are experiencing, to one extent or another, this cosmic transition.

The 4-position foundation model graphically suggests what the Principle clearly states. Circular-motion models are the only ones that will eventually work. Father has said many times that we should revolutionize our way of thinking and behaving around the 4-position foundation concept. We should see everything as a 4-position foundation.

We can both remember speeches in which Father described how the forehead, cheeks and mouth of the human face create a 4-position foundation. We have listened to Father speak at length about burtterflies, mountain peaks, valleys, oceans and examples we no longer remember. What we do remember is that Father could take anything and show how it manifested the 4-position foundation.

When we look at the 4-position foundation in light of the 3 Blessings, we clearly see that mind and body, men and women, humans and creation achieve their greatest fulfillment when they come into a harmonized horizontal position towards one another while each enjoying a vertical relationship with God.

The family is the most profound expression of the 4-position foundation. The experience that we had at the birth of our first child convinced us that Father is 100% right about this. When she arrived and we both embraced her, still wet and slimy, but so exquisitely alive as she squirmed in our embrace, we burst into spontaneous praise of God.

Did we sing a holy song? No. One of us bellowed and sobbed, rivulets of tears streaming down his face. The other one gasped with uncontrollable laughter (not at him), nearly insane with relief and gratitude that she was with us in full at last. We both knew that God was right there in the midst of us in that sacred moment.

We believe that True Parents are calling us forth to create a "parentarchal" and "familarchal" model of human relationship. In the dynamic unity of a family, all the unique aspects of masculinity and femininity, subjectivity and objectivity can come forth, equally valued and cherished.

Tribal messiahship involves Blessed couples, Blessed families. There are no single messiahs in this community and that is a significant difference between Unificationism and other religious traditions. Ultimately, only the family can save the world. Salvation means to bring back true love between God and humankind. That can only begin with the family unit. It is the focus of everything that True Parents do and the heart of everything towards which the Principle guides us.

As promised, here are a few books which might complement the monographs mentioned by the Quinns. Hopefully, others will contribute their ideas, continuing and enlarging the discussion they engendered.

"You Just Don't Understand," by Deborah Tannen. She discusses "hierarchical" and "relational" methods of communication which men and women use. She illustrates how misunderstandings occur because men and women do not realize they speak to each other from different [vertical vs. horizontal] cultural perspectives.

"The Wounded Heart of God: The Asian Concept of Han and the Christian Doctrine of Sin," by Dr. Andrew Sung Park. He clarifies why black, feminist and liberation theologies arose. The Christian doctrine of sin offers salvation to sinners, but leaves little or no resolution for their victims. His explanation of Han is extremely useful for Unificationists who want a deeper understanding of this term which Father has used in many speeches. Reading this book helped me to clarify "Cain-Abel" patterns of restoration in my own life of faith even though he has not studied this aspect of the Principle.

"Global Paradox," by John Naisbitt. Check out how this guy uses the world "tribalism" and get one smashing insight after another why Father is at the cutting edge of almost anything going on in this world. He also has some clues on how we might better function as many cultural entities working under an overall ideal. Father has founded many "federations" and Naisbitt gives us some brilliant examples of how we might better put this word to use in our own community.

"The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People," by Stephen Covey. I know he has been read by many Unificationists already, but if you have not picked it up, find a friend who has a copy and borrow it. He offers some good models for building personal integrity, working with others and creating win-win situations in all areas of life. His models are fairly good stuff for married couples and parents dealing with familial relationships.

The Morris' are in transition from Texas to their hometown. They have 3 children who are much more intelligent than their parents. The Morris' are writing in their children's stead until a technology for ideas conveyed by crayon is implemented.


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