Essentials Of Unification Thought - The Head-Wing Thought
III. A Being with Position
Resembling the relationship of subject and object in the Original Image, human beings possess the positions of subject and object. When people are born, they start out in the position of objects specifically, objects to their parents. After growing, they become parents themselves and stand in the position of subject to their children. In social life, too, people start out from a lower position and gradually rise to a higher position. Therefore, human beings stand first in the object position, and then gradually grow to stand in the subject position.
A. The Object Position
God created human beings to be the objects of His love, so that He might obtain joy in relating to them. Therefore, the primary significance of human life is to please God. In other words, human beings exist in the object position to God.
Thus, human beings, first and foremost, stand in the position of objects to God. In society, too, human beings are in the position of objects to various subjects. For example, the people of a nation are in the object position to the government of that nation; children are in the object position to their parents; students to their teachers; and subordinates to their superiors. Also, individuals are in the object position to the corporate wholes of organizations or groups to which they belong, as well as to the nation, state and humankind.
The object needs to have "object consciousness" as the mental attitude toward the subject. Object consciousness toward God is a heart of attendance and loyalty. The object consciousness toward the sovereign or chief of state is loyalty. Children's object consciousness toward their parent is filial piety. Subordinates' object consciousness toward the whole is a heart of service. What these various types of object consciousness have in common is an attitude of living for others and a heart of meekness and humility.
In the fallen world, many dictators have appeared throughout history who took advantage of people's object consciousness by behaving as though they were true subjects to the people, and thus they came to receive people's respect and support. Hitler and Stalin were major examples of this type. Yet, though false subjects may prosper for a certain time, in the end they surely lose the support of the people. That is a fact proven by history.
Why such historical phenomena? Since human beings were created by God as God's children, they have in the depth of their hearts the object consciousness of attending and pleasing God. Therefore, when people meet a leader that appears to be a representative of' God, their latent object consciousness will seek to follow that leader, even to the point of sacrificing their very lives. But people are often mistaken about who their true subject is; thus, they have often been deceived by false subjects, such as dictators, and have often followed them blindly. Therefore, finding one's true subject is an important matter.
Object consciousness is the essential element of ethics. In today's society, however, object consciousness has become almost completely neutralized and there is a growing tendency for people to ignore the authority of the subject. As a result, society has been thrown into confusion. Therefore, in establishing an ethical society, what needs to be done, first and foremost, is to establish true object consciousness.
B. The Subject Position
As human beings grow, they come to stand in the position of a subject, or the "subject position." In the family, for example, parents are the subject to their children; in schools, teachers are the subjects to students; in business, executives are the subjects to subordinates; in a nation, the government is the subject to the people. Furthermore, the whole (e.g., humankind, the state, the nation) is the subject to the individual.
From the viewpoint of Unification Thought, the subject is in the position of God's representative to the object. Therefore, the subject should exercise dominion over the object as though doing that in place of God. The spiritual posture required of the subject toward the object is "subject consciousness." Subject consciousness requires concern, love, and authority toward the object. Let us consider each of these characteristics.
First, the subject must have concern for the object. Human alienation, which is a serious problem today, results from the fact that subjects lack concern for their objects. Lack of concern means that the subject does not assume responsibility for the object. When that happens, the object comes to distrust and to disobey the subject. Therefore, on the part of the subject, there is no room for neglecting the object.
Second, the subject must love the object. Usually, ruling over others by giving orders to them is considered the way to show subject consciousness, but in reality that is not so. Being a subject means loving the object. As God loves humankind, which is the object of God, so must every subject love its object. As mentioned earlier, object consciousness means that the object obeys and serves the subject; in order for object consciousness to be established, however, the subject must first love the object.
Third, the subject must have authority. The subject should love the object, but if a leader is always lenient when dealing with subordinates, authority cannot be established. If' the leader has no authority, the subordinates will lose their seriousness. Therefore, it is necessary for the subject to maintain authority while loving tile object. This means that love has not only a warm aspect, like spring, but also a strict aspect, like winter. Love can be expressed in different ways, depending on the time and circumstances.
Thus the subject needs authority, and yet the subject must not be authoritarian. If authority is too strong, the subordinates will end to withdraw and lose creativity. True authority makes those in the subordinate position feel thankful, even when they are reprimanded by their superiors.
This is certainly true of God. God is a being of love, while at the same time, a being of authority. For example, when Abraham failed in his attempt to offer the heifer, ram and she-goat and doves, God ordered him to offer his son Isaac as a sacrifice. But when Abraham, in obedience to God's order, was about to make the offer of Isaac, God stopped him and said, "now I know that you fear God" (Gen. 22:12). Thus, God made it clear He wishes us to fear Him more precisely, God intends to be a God of authority.
As a final point, let us consider the subject position of human beings toward all things. As mentioned earlier, when human beings inherit God's Heart, they will have dominion over things by expressing creativity based on love. When that happens, human beings will stand in the subject position toward all things, in a true sense. That is in sharp contrast with the Marxist assertion that, when the means of production are nationalized and a planned economy is put into practice, then "mail ... becomes tile real, conscious Lord of Nature." 6 As we can see, from tile unsuccessful agricultural policies, industrial stagnation, and other economic problems of the former Soviet Union, China, and other Communist countries, Communism, quite to the contrary, has failed in its dominion over things. This tells us that, based on the Marxist view of human nature, people cannot, in the true sense, stand in the subject position toward the creation.
C. Connected-Body Consciousness and Democracy
Every person exists as a connected body in social life; so, everyone is both a subject and an object at the same time. In other words, human beings with the positions of both a subject and an object, or beings with a dual position. this fact can be summed up in the phrase, "human beings are in the connected-body position." For example, in a company, a person may be in the subject position to subordinates, while, at the same time, in the object position to superiors. Though someone may be in the highest possible position, still that person is in the object position to God. Therefore, human beings are always in the connected-body position. Tile spiritual posture that a connected-body should take is that of possessing both object consciousness and subject consciousness; this is called connected-body consciousness.
As mentioned earlier, people first stand in the object position, and then stand in the subject position. Therefore, in connected-body consciousness, priority should be given to object consciousness. In other words, subject consciousness should be established on the basis of object consciousness. In the case of fallen persons, however, when they stand in the subject position, they often forget about object consciousness and give priority to subject consciousness. Dictators are typical examples of this. They consider themselves to be supreme and seek to do everything according to their own will. In contrast, in the original society, leaders should be conscious that they are always in the object position before God -- even if they may be in the highest human position-and should not forget humility.
Next, let us consider connected-body consciousness in democracy. The fundamental principles of democracy are freedom and equality-i.e., equality of rights. These principles are based on the theory of natural law proposed by John Locke (1632-1704). Contrary to Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679), whose view was that the natural state of human beings is "a war of all against all" (bellum omnium conlra omnes), Locke argued that, since natural law exists in the natural state people stand in a free and equal status. He also held that in the natural state, people have natural rights-i.e., the equal rights to life, freedom and property. 7
The theory of equality of rights based on natural law derives from Christianity's idea of "equality before God" 8 Equality before God refers to the equality of all people as objects before God, the subject. Therefore, the theory of equality of all people was originally based on object consciousness. That is to say, democracy, originally, started out on the basis of object consciousness.
In the modern period, however, religion and politics became separated, and as a result, the concept of God disappeared from the political world, leaving the concept of equality all by itself. In this way, "equality before God" turned into "equality before the law." God, the subject, was excluded from political life, and, as a result, people were elevated to the position of subjects, and the concept of equality changed into equality among people as subjects. Consequently, object consciousness was eliminated from connected-body consciousness, and subject consciousness became dominant.
In today's dramatic society, subject consciousness has become too strong. Taking little notice of the rights of others, people assert their own rights excessively, which results in unavoidable conflicts among them. Public, destructive criticism of the government has become an everyday occurrence, and democratic society has become a society of confusion. In order to bring such a confusion under control, it often happens that dictators rise, especially in developing nations, and carry out oppressive rule. How can such problems be solved?
Democracy, before allowing this kind of confusion to exist, achieved comparatively sound development. The reason was that people maintained object consciousness before God, due to their Christian spirit. Today, however, Christianity has lost its vitality.
People have come to disbelieve in God, and at the same time, have lost respect for their superiors. As a result, the inherent contradiction of democracy, that is, conflicts among subjects, has surfaced, and social confusion of various kinds has arisen. for example, in the United States, a typical nation among advanced democracies, society has serious problems, such as increase in crime, decay of sexual morals, rise in divorce rate, breakdown of the family, drug abuse, expanding AIDS epidemic, and so forth. From this perspective, the contemporary world can be called a spiritual wilderness.
The key to solving these problems lies in resurrecting object consciousness. In order to do that, we need to invite God to return to our midst. We must also go back to the original spirit with which modern democracy started, namely, the idea that all people are equal before God. To do that, the first and most important step is to provide reasonable proof for the existence of God, so that modern persons can accept Him. If people come to believe in God, they will come to respect their superiors in society as well. Also, those in superior positions will come to guide their subordinates with love. The government will love the people, and the people will become loyal to the government. When democracy, which has lost God, goes back to being democracy centered on God, the ills of today's democratic society will be fundamentally resolved. Unification Thought refers to God-centered democracy as "fraternitism," because in God-centered democracy, all humankind will become loving brothers and sisters centering on God's love.
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