Ninth International Conference on the Unity of the Sciences
Sun Myung Moon
I would like to share with you my view of how world peace can be achieved.
As you are no doubt already aware, the more chaotic the world becomes, the more mankind thirsts for peace.
Then how can peace be achieved? In today’s world, orderliness has been destroyed. Therefore, to establish peace means to restore that order. To restore order, subjects and objects must find their positions and establish mutual, unified relations. Men desire peace not only on the world level, but also on the level of nations, societies and families as well. Even individuals yearn for peace between their minds and bodies.
Of these various levels of peace, which should be established first? It is easy to think that if world peace were achieved first, then on that basis the peace of nations, societies, families and eventually individuals would also follow.
But this is a wrong viewpoint and actually the reverse of the sequence necessary to establish peace. Individual peace must come first. Then family peace can soon follow, and only on that foundation can we hope for the peace of societies, nations and the world. This is because individuals are the basic units of families, and families are the basic units of societies and nations.
Frequently, leaders believe that through outstanding organization and superior thought they can restore both the social order and world peace. In reality, however, mankind can never find peace through these two means alone. International organizations such as the United Nations and thought systems such as communism and democracy have all tried to realize world peace in their own ways, but peace is still far from our grasp, and the world experiences more confusion with each passing day.
Unless the quest for peace starts from the peace of an individual, it is bound to fail again and again. Then how can an individual achieve peace? Only by having absolute love and practicing it. Love is the precondition for all unity; this means that unity can be established on the basis of love, and then peace on the basis of unity.
Both relative love and absolute love exist. Relative love varies according to time and place, but absolute love is unchanging and eternal. Because the former is self-centered, it changes according to present interests. The latter, on the other hand, always exists for the benefit of others and serves the whole; therefore, it is unchanging. Furthermore, absolute love is none other than the love of the absolute being; therefore, it must be God’s love.
Through relative love, unity can never be achieved; only through absolute love does unity become possible. The mind and body of an individual can come into unity only by absolute love. Then one experiences such emotions as calmness, joy, satisfaction and a sense of worth. Only from such an individual can one draw a standard for peace.
When the parents and children, husband and wife, and brothers and sisters of a family all practice absolute love from their respective positions, the unity of that family will radiate in happiness and harmony and, above all, peace. Accordingly, the society formed by such families of peace will be a society of peace. If the families within a society become harmonious and help each other, the society will surely shine with peace, because order and unity will reign.
The nation formed by such societies of peace will also become a nation of peace. Moreover, a nation is not merely an assembly of many societies; it is an organic unit comprised of and based on individuals and families of love. Within it, perfect order and unity must be established, and then the true peace of the nation can result.
To express it in other words, even a nation needs God’s love in order to establish and maintain peace. Even though the families which are the basis of the nation may be centered around absolute love, the nation as an organic body must be able to practice absolute love on the national level. Internally, the government and people of the nation should attain unity; and externally, the nation should unify with neighboring nations, thereby creating true peace.
Needless to say, the peace of the world develops only on the foundation of the peace of all nations. When each nation ceases to place all its emphasis on trade and other ways of securing its so-called national interests, when each nation begins to serve other nations and the world with absolute love, and when each nation consistently maintains such an international atmosphere, the eternal peace of mankind will be secured.
Thus it becomes apparent that world peace begins with individual peace and expands through families, societies and nations to ultimately become world peace.
At this point, I would like to clarify absolute love and absolute values. On the foundation of love, the values of truth, goodness and beauty emerge. For example, when love is practiced, it appears as goodness. Therefore, it follows that the practice of absolute love, which is God’s love, results in absolute goodness. The actions of an individual practicing absolute love for the sake of peace are goodness (absolute goodness). Likewise, the actions of a family practicing love for the sake of peace are also goodness. The same is true for societies, nations and the world.
In other words, in order to make true peace a reality the individual, family, society, nation and world must all manifest the absolute values: absolute truth, absolute goodness and absolute beauty. The practice of absolute goodness is most urgent, for it assures that no element of evil can intervene and destroy order.
Since the spiritual values of truth, goodness and beauty develop on the basis of love, without knowledge of absolute love — which is God’s love — absolute truth, absolute goodness and absolute beauty can never result. And without these absolute values, there can never be true peace.
Thus, for the true peace of mankind, absolute love must be practiced. But before it can be practiced, it must first be understood. Absolute love is that which acts for the benefit of others, serves others and remains unchanging and eternal. Then, why does absolute love serve the whole and remain unchanging? And why can peace be realized only through love?
These questions require answers. But in order to answer them completely, we must clarify fully the absolute being and his motive and purpose for creating the universe and mankind. In particular, the motive and purpose for creation serve as the indispensable standards for the practice of love and the establishment of peace. Before any plans can be placed in action, a definite purpose must first exist; any action without purpose is meaningless.
If man was created by the absolute being and meant to practice the absolute being’s love, then it is certain that there is a motive and purpose for the creation of man. In order to clarify that motive and purpose, we need an explanation of the absolute being — that is, a correct concept of God. By establishing the correct concept of God, we can discover his motive and purpose of creation and, accordingly, the reason why his love must be practiced in order to realize peace.
Thus, I submit that for the true peace of mankind, it is necessary to understand the absolute being correctly, practice his love and, finally, realize his absolute values.