Exposition of the Divine PrincipleRev. Sun Myung Moon
Everyone is struggling to attain happiness and avoid misfortune. From the commonplace affairs of individuals to the great events that shape the course of history, each is at root an expression of the human aspiration for ever greater happiness. How, then, does happiness arise?
People feel joy when their desires are fulfilled. The word "desire," however, is often not understood in its original sense, because in the present circumstances our desires tend to pursue evil rather than good. Desires which result in injustice do not emanate from a person's original mind. The original mind is well aware that such desires lead to misfortune. Therefore, it repels evil desires and strives to follow the good. Even at the cost of their lives, people seek for the joy that can enrapture the original mind. This is the human condition: we grope along exhausting paths to cast off the shadow of death and search for the light of life.
Has anyone realized the joy in which the original mind delights by pursuing evil desires? Whenever such desires are sated, we feel unrest in our conscience and agony in our heart. Would a parent ever instruct his child to be evil? Would a teacher deliberately instill unrighteousness in his students? The impulse of the original mind, which everyone possesses, is to abhor evil and exalt goodness.
In the lives of religious people one can see an intense struggle to realize goodness by single-mindedly following the desires of the original mind. Yet since the beginning of time, not even one person has abided strictly by his original mind. As St. Paul noted, "None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands, no one seeks for God."1(Rom.3:10-11)RS|KJ|NI Confronted with the human condition, he lamented, "For I delight in the law of God, in my inmost self, but I see in my members another law at war with the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin which dwells in my members. Wretched man that I am!" 2(Rom. 7:22-24)RS|KJ|NI
We find a great contradiction in every person. Within the self-same individual are two opposing inclinations: the original mind that desires goodness and the evil mind that desires wickedness. They are engaged in a fierce battle, striving to accomplish two conflicting purposes. Any being possessing such a contradiction within itself is doomed to perish. Human beings, having acquired this contradiction, live on the brink of destruction.
Can it be that human life originated with such a contradiction? How could beings with a self-contradictory nature come into existence? If burdened by such a contradiction from its inception, human life would not have been able to arise. The contradiction, therefore, must have developed after the birth of the human race. Christianity sees this state of destruction as the result of the human Fall.
Can anyone dispute that the human condition is fallen? When we realize the fact that, due to the Fall, we have arrived at the brink of self-destruction, we make desperate efforts to resolve the contradiction within. We repel the evil desires coming from our evil mind and embrace the good desires springing from our original mind.
Nevertheless, we have been unable to find the ultimate answer to the question: What is the nature of good and evil? We still do not have an absolute and definitive truth which can enable us to distinguish, for example, which of the two, theism or atheism, is good and which is evil. Furthermore, we remain entirely ignorant of the answers to such questions as: What is the original mind, the wellspring of good desires? What is the origin of the evil mind that incites evil desires in opposition to the original mind? What is the root cause of the contradiction that brings people to ruin? In order to ward off evil desires and follow good desires, we must overcome this ignorance and gain the ability to distinguish clearly between good and evil. Then we can take the path to the good life the original mind seeks.
Considered from the viewpoint of the intellect, the human Fall represents humanity's descent into ignorance. People are composed of two aspects: internal and external, or mind and body; likewise, the intellect consists of two aspects: internal and external. In the same way, there are two types of ignorance: internal ignorance and external ignorance.
Internal ignorance, in religious terms, is spiritual ignorance. It is ignorance of such questions as: What is the origin of human beings? What is the purpose of life? What happens after death? Do God and the next world exist? What is the nature of good and evil? External ignorance refers to ignorance of the natural world, including the human body. It is ignorance of such issues as: What is the origin of the physical universe? What are the natural laws governing all phenomena?
From the dawn of history until today, human beings have ceaselessly searched for the truth with which to overcome both types of ignorance and attain knowledge. Humanity through religion has followed the path of searching for internal truth, and through science has followed the path of seeking external truth. Religion and science, each in their own spheres, have been the methods of searching for truth in order to conquer ignorance and attain knowledge. Eventually, the way of religion and the way of science should be integrated and their problems resolved in one united undertaking; the two aspects of truth, internal and external, should develop in full consonance. Only then, completely liberated from ignorance and living solely in goodness in accord with the desires of the original mind, will we enjoy eternal happiness.
We can discern two broad courses in the search for solutions to the fundamental questions of human life. In the first, people have searched within the resultant, material world. Those who walk this path, believing it to be the supreme way, kneel before the glories of highly developed science. They take pride in its omnipotence and the material comforts it provides. Nevertheless, can we enjoy full happiness founded only upon external conditions that satisfy the flesh? The advance of science may create a comfortable social environment in which we can enjoy abundant wealth and prosperity, but can that alone truly gratify the spiritual desires of the inner self?
The passing joys of those who delight in the pleasures of the flesh are nothing compared to the bliss experienced by those on the path of enlightenment, who find joy in the midst of simple poverty. Gautama Buddha, who abandoned the luxuries of the royal palace and became enraptured in the pursuit of the Way, was not the only one who wandered about homeless while searching for his heart's resting place. Just as a healthy body depends upon a sound mind, so too the joy of the body is complete only when the mind is content.
What of the sailor who voyages on the sea of the material world under the sail of science in search of physical comforts? Let him reach the coast for which he longs. He eventually will come to realize that it is nothing more than the very graveyard where his body will be buried.
Where is science heading? Until now, scientific research has not embraced the internal world of cause; it has limited itself to the external world. It has not embraced the world of essence, but has limited itself to the world of phenomena. However, science today is entering a new phase. It is compelled to elevate its gaze from the external and resultant world of phenomena to the internal and causal world of essence. The scientific world has begun to recognize that science cannot achieve its ultimate goals without a theoretical explanation of the causal, spiritual world.
When the sailor, who has completed his voyage in search of external truth under the sail of science, adds another sail, the sail of religion, and embarks on a new voyage in search of internal truth, he finally will be headed toward the destination for which his original mind yearns.
The second course of human endeavor is the attempt to answer the fundamental questions about human life by transcending the resultant world of phenomena and searching in the world of essence. Undeniably, philosophies and religions which have pursued this path have made many contributions. Philosophers, saints and sages set out to pave the way of goodness for the people of their times. Yet so many of their accomplishments have become added spiritual burdens for the people of today.
Consider this objectively. Has any philosopher ever arrived at the knowledge that could solve humanity's deepest anguish? Has any sage ever clearly illuminated the path by resolving all the fundamental questions of human life and the universe? Have not their teachings and philosophies raised more unsettled questions, thus giving rise to skepticism?
Furthermore, the lights of revival which religions of every age cast upon the many souls who were groping in the darkness have faded with the onward flow of history. They have left only dim, sputtering wicks glimmering in the falling darkness.
Examine the history of Christianity. Professing the salvation of humankind, Christianity has expanded through a tumultuous history of two thousand years, extending its influence throughout the world in the present era. Yet what has become of the Christian spirit that once cast flames of life so brilliant that, despite the most brutal persecution by the Roman empire, Roman citizens were brought to their knees before the crucified Jesus? Medieval feudal society buried Christianity alive. Even though the Reformation raised high the torch of new life, its flame could not turn back the sweeping tide of darkness.
When ecclesiastic love waned, when waves of capitalistic greed surged across Christian Europe, when starving masses cried out bitterly in the slums, the promise of their salvation came not from heaven but from the earth. Its name was communism. Christianity, though it professed the love of God, had degenerated into a dead body of clergy trailing empty slogans. It was then only natural that a banner of rebellion would be raised, arguing that a merciless God who would allow such suffering could not exist. Hence, modern materialism was born. Western society became a hotbed of materialism; it was the fertile soil in which communism flourished.
Christianity lost the ability to equal the successes of either communism or materialism and failed to present the truth that could conquer their theories. Christians watched helplessly as these ideologies budded and thrived in their midst and expanded their influence all over the world. What a pity this is! What is more, although Christian doctrine teaches that all humanity descended from the same parents, many citizens of Christian nations who profess this doctrine will not even sit together with their brothers and sisters of different skin colors. This illustrates the actual situation of today's Christianity, which has lost much of the power to put the words of Jesus into practice. It has become a house of lifeless rituals, a whitewashed tomb.
There may come a day when human efforts bring an end to such social evils, but there is one social vice that human efforts alone can never eradicate. That is sexual immorality. Christian doctrine regards this as a cardinal sin. What a tragedy that today's Christian society cannot block this path of ruin down which so many people are rushing blindly! Christianity today has fallen victim to confusion and division, and it can only watch helplessly while countless lives are sucked into the maelstrom of immorality. This is evidence that conventional Christianity stands powerless to carry on God's providence to save humanity in this present age.
What is the reason that religious people, though earnestly searching for internal truth, have been unable to accomplish their God-given mission? The relationship between the world of essence and the world of phenomena can be compared to that between mind and body. It is a relationship of cause and result, internal and external, subject partner and object partner.3(cf. Creation 1.1) Just as people attain perfection of character only when the mind and body are fully united, the two worlds of essence and phenomena must join in perfect harmony before the ideal world can be realized. As with the relationship between mind and body, so too the world of phenomena cannot exist apart from the world of essence, and the world of essence cannot exist apart from the world of phenomena. Accordingly, life after death is inseparably linked to life in this world. Spiritual joy is incomplete without genuine physical happiness.
Religions have made strenuous efforts to deny life in this world in their quest for the life eternal. They have despised the pleasures of the body for the sake of spiritual bliss. Yet however hard they may try, people cannot cut themselves off from the reality of this world or annihilate the desire for physical pleasures, which follows them like a shadow and cannot be shaken off. This world and its desires tenaciously grab hold of religious people, driving them into the depths of agony. Such is the contradiction which plagues their devotional lives. Even many enlightened spiritual leaders, still torn by this contradiction, have met a sad end. Herein is a principal cause for the inactivity and weakness of today's religions: they have not overcome this self-contradiction.
Another factor has fated religions to decline. In step with the progress of science, the human intellect has become highly sophisticated, requiring a scientific approach to understanding reality. The traditional doctrines of religions, on the other hand, are largely devoid of scientific explanations. That is to say, the current interpretations of internal truth and external truth do not agree.
The ultimate purpose of religion can be attained only when one first believes it in one's heart and then puts it into practice. However, without first understanding, beliefs do not take hold. For example, it is in order to understand the truth and thereby solidify our beliefs that we study holy scriptures. Likewise, it was to help the people understand that he was the Messiah, and thereby lead them to believe in him, that Jesus performed miracles. Understanding is the starting point for knowledge. Today, however, people will not accept what is not demonstrable by the logic of science. Accordingly, since religions are now unable to guide people even to the level of understanding, much less to belief, they are unable to fulfill their purpose. Even internal truth demands logical and convincing explanations. Indeed, throughout the long course of history, religions have been moving toward the point when their teachings could be elucidated scientifically.
Religion and science, setting out with the missions of dispelling the two aspects of human ignorance, have seemed in the course of their development to take positions that were contradictory and irreconcilable. However, for humankind to completely overcome the two aspects of ignorance and fully realize the goodness which the original mind desires, at some point in history there must emerge a new truth which can reconcile religion and science and resolve their problems in an integrated undertaking.
It may be displeasing to religious believers, especially to Christians, to learn that a new expression of truth must appear. They believe that the scriptures they have are already perfect and flawless. Certainly, truth itself is unique, eternal, immutable and absolute. Scriptures, however, are not the truth itself, but are textbooks teaching the truth. They were given at various times in history as humankind developed both spiritually and intellectually. The depth and extent of teaching and the method of expressing the truth naturally varied according to each age. Consequently, we must never regard such textbooks as absolute in every detail. 4(cf. Eschatology 5)
People need religion in order to seek the Ultimate Reality and realize goodness in accordance with the inclination of the original mind. Thus, the purpose of every religion is identical. However, religions have appeared in different forms according to their various missions, the cultures in which they took root, and their particular historical period. Their scriptures have taken different forms for similar reasons. All scriptures have the same purpose: to illuminate their surroundings with the light of truth. Yet when a brighter lamp is lit, the old lamp is outshone and its mission fades. Because religions lack the power to guide modern people out of the dark valley of death into the full radiance of life, there must emerge a new expression of truth that can radiate a new and brighter light. Jesus indicated that God would someday reveal a new truth: "I have said this to you in figures; the hour is coming when I shall no longer speak to you in figures but tell you plainly of the Father." 5(John 16:25)RS|KJ|NI
What missions must the new truth fulfill? The new truth should be able to unify knowledge by reconciling the internal truth pursued by religion and the external truth pursued by science. Consequently, it will enable all people to overcome the two types of ignorance, internal and external, and fully comprehend the two types of knowledge.
Next, the new truth should lead fallen people to block the ways of the evil mind and to pursue the goals of the original mind, enabling them to attain goodness. It should guide people to remove the double-mindedness that sometimes seeks good and sometimes evil. It should empower religious people to overcome the contradiction which they face in their struggle to live according to the Way. For fallen people, knowledge is the light of life holding the power of revival, while ignorance is the shadow of death and the cause of ruin. Ignorance cannot beget true sentiments, and in the absence of knowledge and emotion the will to act cannot arise. Without the proper functioning of emotion, intellect and will, one cannot live the life of a true human being.
If we are created in such a way that we cannot live apart from God, then surely our ignorance of God consigns us to walk miserable paths. Though we may diligently study the Bible, can we really say that we know clearly the reality of God? Can we ever grasp the Heart of God? The new expression of truth should be able to reveal the Heart of God: His heart of joy at the time of creation; the broken heart He felt when humankind, His children whom He could not abandon, rebelled against Him; and His heart of striving to save them throughout the long course of history.
Human history, woven of the lives of people who are inclined toward both good and evil, is filled with struggle. Today, external conflicts-battles over property, people and territory-are gradually diminishing. People are coming together transcending the differences between races. The victors of World War II liberated their colonies, gave them equal rights with the great powers and included them as members of the United Nations. Together, they are working toward a world order. Hostility and discord in international relations have been mitigated as economic concerns come to the forefront and nations are cooperating to construct common markets. Culture is freely circulating, the traditional isolation of nations is being overcome and the cultural distance between East and West is being bridged.
Nonetheless, one final and inescapable conflict remains before us, the war between democracy and communism. Although each side has equipped itself with fearsome weapons and is pitted against the other in readiness for battle, the core of their conflict is internal and ideological.
Which side will triumph in this final ideological conflict? Anyone who believes in the reality of God will surely answer that democracy will win. However, democracy does not possess any doctrine which can win over communism, nor does it have the power to do so. Therefore, in order for God's providence of salvation to be completely fulfilled, this new truth should first elevate the idealism of the democratic world to a new level, then use it to assimilate materialism, and finally bring humanity into a new world. This truth must be able to embrace all historical religions, ideologies and philosophies and bring complete unity among them.
Some people do, indeed, refuse to believe in religion. They disbelieve because they do not know the reality of God and life after death. Yet, however strongly they would like to deny these realities, it is human nature to accept and believe in them if they can be proven scientifically. Moreover, Heaven has implanted in human beings a nature such that those who place their ultimate purpose of life in the material world will eventually come to feel a great void and emptiness in their hearts. When people come to know God through the new truth and encounter the reality of the spirit world, they will realize that they should not set the ultimate purpose of life in the material world, but instead should look to the eternal world. They will walk the path of faith, and when they reach their final destination, they will meet as brothers and sisters.
If all people are to meet as brothers and sisters by virtue of this one truth, what will that world be like? Under the light of the new truth, all those who have struggled over the long course of history to dispel the darkness of ignorance will gather. They will form one great family. Since the purpose of truth is to realize goodness, and since God is the origin of goodness, God will be the center of the world founded upon this truth. Everyone will adore and serve God as their Parent and live in harmony with each other in brotherly love. It is human nature that when people wrong their neighbor for selfish ends, they suffer more from the pangs of conscience than they benefit from the enjoyment of unrighteous gains. Anyone realizing this will restrain himself from hurting his neighbor. But were genuine brotherly love to overflow from the depth of people's hearts, they would no longer wish to do anything that would cause pain to their neighbor. How much more would this be true in a society of people who actually feel that God, who transcends time and space and observes their every act, wants them to love each other? Therefore, once the sinful history of humanity has come to an end, a new historical era will begin wherein people simply will not commit sins.
The reason why people who believe in God continue to commit sins is because their faith in God has been merely conceptual. It has not touched their innermost feelings. Who among them would ever dare to commit sin if they experienced God in the depths of their being? Would they not tremble if they felt the reality of the heavenly law that those who commit crimes cannot escape the destiny of hell?
The world without sin which has just been described, this long-sought goal of humankind, may be called the Kingdom of Heaven. Since this world is to be established on the earth, it may be called the Kingdom of Heaven on earth.
We can conclude that the ultimate purpose of God's work of salvation is to establish the Kingdom of Heaven on earth. It was explained above that human beings fell, and that this fall took place after the human race originated. If we accept the existence of God, then it is obvious what kind of world God originally wanted to realize before the fall of the first human ancestors. It suffices to say that this world was to be the Kingdom of Heaven on earth, wherein God's purpose of creation would bear fruit. 6(cf. Creation 3.1)
Due to the Fall, human beings failed to establish this world. Instead, they fell into ignorance and built a sinful world. Since then, fallen human beings have unceasingly struggled to restore the Kingdom of Heaven on earth, the world God originally intended to create. Over the long course of history, they have sought for truth, both internal and external, and have strived to pursue goodness. Thus, behind human history is God's providence to restore a world where the purpose of God's creation is fulfilled. Accordingly, the new truth should guide fallen human beings to return to their original state. To do this, it must reveal the purpose for which God created humankind and the universe, and teach about the process of their restoration and its ultimate goal.
Did human beings fall by eating a fruit called the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, as is written literally in the Bible? If not, then what was the cause of the Fall? The new truth must answer these and other questions which have pained and troubled the minds of profound thinkers throughout the ages: Why did the God of perfection and beauty create human beings with the potential to fall? Why did the omniscient and omnipotent God not prevent their fall, even though He was aware that they were falling? Why did God not save sinful humankind in an instant with His almighty power?
As we marvel at the scientific laws concealed in the natural world, we can deduce that God, its Creator, truly is the very origin of science. If human history is God's providence to restore the world wherein His purpose of creation is fulfilled, it must be that God, the Master of all laws, has led the long providence of restoration according to an orderly plan. It is our most urgent task to comprehend how the sinful history of humanity began, what formulas and laws have governed the course of the providence, how history will be consummated and, finally, into what kind of world humanity will enter. The new truth must offer answers to all of these deeper questions of life. When the answers are made clear, it will not be possible to deny the existence of God, the Ruler who plans and guides history. We will recognize in every historical event traces of the Heart of God as He has struggled to save fallen human beings.
In addition, the new truth should be able to elucidate many difficult issues in Christianity, which has been granted the mission to establish its sphere of culture worldwide. Educated people are not fully satisfied with the simple assertion that Jesus is the Son of God and the Savior of humanity. They have carried on many theological debates in their efforts to understand the deeper significance of Christian doctrines. The new truth should elucidate the relationships between God, Jesus and human beings; they will be explained in light of the Principle of Creation. Furthermore, it should clarify the difficult mysteries surrounding the Holy Trinity. It should show why God's salvation of humanity was possible only through shedding the blood of His only begotten Son on the cross.
Still, difficult issues remain. Christians believe that salvation is given through the atonement of the cross. Yet no one has ever given birth to a child who is sinless and in no need of redemption by the Savior. This demonstrates that, even after their rebirth in Christ, people continue to pass down the original sin to their children. This raises a crucial question: What is the extent of redemption by the cross? How many millions of Christians in the two-thousand-year history of Christianity have boasted that their sins were completely forgiven by virtue of the blood of the crucifixion? Yet in reality, a sinless individual, family or society has never appeared. Furthermore, the Christian spirit has been in gradual decline. How are we going to reconcile the discrepancy between the conventional belief in complete redemption through the crucifixion and the actual reality? These are only some of many dilemmas we face. The new truth, for which we long, should provide plain answers.
Many other difficult riddles are found in the Bible, couched in symbolism and metaphor, such as: Why must Jesus come again? When, where and how will his return take place? How will fallen people be resurrected at his coming? What is the meaning of the biblical prophecies that heaven and earth will be destroyed by fire and other calamities? The new truth should explain these puzzles, not in esoteric language but, as Jesus promised, in plain language that everyone can understand.7(John 16:25)RS|KJ|NI Divergent interpretations of such symbolic and metaphorical Bible verses have inevitably led to the division of Christianity into denominations. Only with the aid of the new truth, with its clear explanations, can we bring about Christian unity.
This ultimate life-giving truth, however, cannot be discovered through an exhaustive investigation of scriptures or scholarly texts; nor can it be invented by any human intellect. As is written in the Book of Revelation, "You must again prophesy about many peoples and nations and tongues and kings."8(Rev. 10:11)RS|KJ|NI This truth must appear as a revelation from God.
With the fullness of time, God has sent one person to this earth to resolve the fundamental problems of human life and the universe. His name is Sun Myung Moon. For several decades he wandered through the spirit world so vast as to be beyond imagining. He trod a bloody path of suffering in search of the truth, passing through tribulations that God alone remembers. Since he understood that no one can find the ultimate truth to save humanity without first passing through the bitterest of trials, he fought alone against millions of devils, both in the spiritual and physical worlds, and triumphed over them all. Through intimate spiritual communion with God and by meeting with Jesus and many saints in Paradise, he brought to light all the secrets of Heaven.
The words proclaimed on these pages are only a portion of this truth. This volume is merely a compilation of what his disciples have hitherto heard and seen. We believe and hope that when the time is ripe, more profound portions of the truth will be published.
In every corner of the world, countless souls who had been groping in the darkness are receiving the light of this new truth and are being reborn. As we witness this, we cannot stop shedding tears of deepest inspiration. We desire from the bottom of our hearts that its light quickly fills the earth.
Back to the brief Table of Contents.
Back to the detailed Table of Contents.
Go on to the first chapter, Principle of Creation.