Absolute Values and the New Cultural Revolution — Momentum and a Forward Leap
Sun Myung Moon
November 29, 1985
Fourteenth International Conference on the Unity of the Sciences
Honorable chairmen, eminent professors and scientists, ladies and gentlemen: As we begin this fourteenth ICUS meeting here in Houston, I would like to express my appreciation to each of you for your commitment to, and support for, this conference and its theme, “Absolute Values and the New Cultural Revolution:’ Since I was unable to be with you at last year’s ICUS in Washington, I am particularly moved to stand before you this morning.
As you know, I was recently released from prison, on August 20, 1985, having spent thirteen months in confinement in the United States. I thank you again for being concerned with my situation caused by unfair treatment, for visiting me in prison, for writing letters to comfort me, and for your tremendous effort in making pleas to the authorities on my behalf.
Those who were so eager to fabricate a crime and have me imprisoned invested a great deal of money, time, and effort in the attempt to block the work which God has called me to perform. However, despite opposition, the Unification movement prospers worldwide. Contrary to the expectation that my imprisonment would bring the breakup of the work of our church, we have received unprecedented expressions of understanding and support from all kinds of people, including Christian clergy. Through such an experience I have learned once again, as I always maintained, that victory comes through persecution countered with God- centered righteousness.
The Necessity of a New Breakthrough
My experience in prison has made clearer to me the critically dangerous state of the world It let me feel the urgent necessity of a worldwide great awakening and of a new breakthrough. As a result, I have come out of prison with a renewed sense of urgency and determination to commit myself and the Unification movement to the cause of world peace and global prosperity at any cost.
Today’s world shows us various miserable situations in spite of wonderful scientific development, efficient technology, and economic abundance in many places. There is constant strain and war among nations, and in most of the world such problems as poverty, illiteracy, disease, violence and crime, drug addiction and mental disorders, social discrimination and inequity, broken families, and teenage immorality make the future of this planet appear gloomy. Why do anxiety and agony increase day by day even though many leaders — especially conscientious, distinguished scholars — have been devoting themselves toward realizing a happy ideal world? The reason must be mental exhaustion and a moral, spiritual crisis. Traditional value systems are now inadequate for societies which are changing with unprecedented speed. Ethics and morals have ceased to fully function. Criteria for goodness have been disappearing.
At a time when these problems are causing self-contradiction, conflict, and disunity both in individual lives and on the societal level, how can we speak of moral standards or of eternity? If in such a reality there is no God, then we cannot at all expect complete ideals or happiness ever to be realized. We would conclude that the world cannot but perish. But, if there is God the Absolute, then we can conclude that God will conduct a Providence for changing this negative state of reality to the absolutely positive one by jumping toward one standard — that is, the standard of absolute value. God is our Parent with only true love for all humankind. The purpose of any negative effects of God’s Providence in the past was never to destroy humankind. Such effects were only part of a process for a dramatic leap ahead; the undesirable effects were to be followed by new and hopeful things to come.
Throughout history there have been numerous moments of leaping forward. There have been many instances of people contacting God the Transcendent through moments of complete negation of the present reality and then leaping toward a better future. Ordinary moments are not likely to be a ground for leaping. Pioneers, through positively digesting the paradoxical moments, have been able to leap and create wonderful things.
Loving your enemy, as practiced by Jesus on the cross, may not be easily understood. But Jesus showed us God’s Providence for urgently changing a moment of being completely denied by the world into one of a leap of complete positivity. As a result of that leap, a new page of resurrection Providence was opened.
I think the Unification Church holds a world record in the history of persecution. However, such persecution has not always been bad for the Unification Church. If the Unification Church is not overwhelmed by suffering but overcomes it and lives God’s will through leaping with the momentum, the suffering itself will become a preparation for eternal life centered on the Absolute. With such a view, we should recognize that the reality of today’s world is not cause for despair, but provides momentum for God to permit us a leap towards a new world.
The initial motive for humans to develop science was the desire to realize world peace and prosperity. However, the methods employed in the specialized fields of science have not resulted in meeting that original expectation. Our expectation of science was centered on the well-being of humankind, but instead, science has mostly been concerned with developing the material environment, which is the object of human beings, who are subject. Therefore, the true happiness of humankind has not been realized by the scientific pursuit of higher living standards or by applying theories of politico-economic equality. We conclude, therefore, that scientists should be awakened to assume a new mission.
Today’s man is urged to establish, through insight into the depth of his being, a new standard of ethics centered on the absolute order of reality. The new ethic requires us to love nature, to reconsider the dignity of human beings, to seek love among all humankind, and to search for God as the origin of love. Scholars are to assume a mission for accomplishing the cultural-spiritual revolution for the realization of such ideals as human perfection and world peace, along with the external, technological revolution.
My Expectations for Scholars
Long before the first ICUS, I became certain that scientists should play a decisive role in building the good, hopeful, future society. My support and enthusiasm for ICUS for the past fourteen years has come from my respect and my expectation for scholars’ potential to solve the problems of the world. I hope that such a potential can be developed and mobilized through ICUS and that scholars with responsibility will actively contribute to the realization of the new cultural revolution.
This is the fourteenth ICUS. The number 14 is twice the number 7. According to Unification theology, the number 7, like the number 3, is an important number signifying perfection. Up until now, ICUS has been committing itself to relating scientific studies with the discovery and realization of absolute values. In addition, it has been concerned with the integration of knowledge, that is, with in interdisciplinary and integrated approach to the understanding of reality. The criterion for absolute value comes from God as the origin of absolute love. Without establishing absolute values an integrated approach is not possible.
Many people have now come to recognize the necessity of absolute values. I am grateful that the chairmen and the members of the Planning Committee have overcome misunderstandings and walked on this new path as pioneers. From now on, where is ICUS supposed to head? Could we be satisfied with annual conferences just as before? My answer to this question centers on my recent emphasis on the “New Cultural Revolution’ I think that the potential and foundation for realizing the original ideals and happiness of humankind is greatly endangered, since humankind is now challenged most seriously and essentially by evil.
We, as the ICUS family, should stand up and actively assume the great mission for creating the world of new culture, which must be established at any cost. Exploration of absolute values cannot be meaningful for its own sake; truth has eternal direction, and the ideal world centered on absolute values must be concretely realized. This realization requires that we act determinedly and leap beyond the difficulties found in the present reality.
A New Culture Is Demanded
Today, the world should change. Now is the time for scholars to responsibly come to the forefront, advancing toward the new cultural revolution centered on God’s truth and love. The new cultural revolution should pursue God’s ideal for humanity and all creation. In order for this ideal to be accomplished, each of us should fulfill our responsibility in realizing true love, not only knowledge, as absolute value.
Humankind should now leap forward. Creation of a culture of new dimension, through which we can completely overcome the limits of finite reality, is demanded. We should wake up from the illusion and laxity of any arrogant belief that the power of human reason alone can bring about the perfection of individuals and the world without relating to God’s expectations for the original human character and without relating to God’s Providence behind the turmoil of human history. Humbly recognizing the limits of human beings, we should fulfill the ideal of union with God through leaping forward, not missing the historical momentum introduced by God’s Providence. Since God’s ideal for the creation was wholly meant for human beings, it is a natural conclusion that the ideal should be fulfilled through human response to God’s comprehensive concern.
Respected scholars! I have been committing my whole life to fulfill God’s will, that is, to fulfill human responsibility. I never tried to avoid even the most rugged path of the pioneer. For instance, I determined to offer an alternative to the existing attitudes of the news media. I have closely watched the process of the news media’s offering information, right and wrong, to the public. I know through my experience, as many of you do, that the power of the news media, if misused, can destroy reality and undermine the foundation of goodness. Therefore, for years we have been sponsoring at great cost The Washington Times. Recently, I inspired a weekly news magazine called Insight. Further, in this coming month, we are going to release a monthly magazine called The World and I. These projects aim to offer alternative media for education, and mass communication that will contribute to such values as truth and the common good.
I Ask You To Become Pioneers
I ask you to be pioneers in a new cultural revolution through participating in the continuous pursuit of truth, by actively contributing articles to The World and I magazine. Furthermore, I envision the publication of dictionaries for the different specialized fields of science, with the help of our worldwide PWPA membership and Paragon House Publishers. All this will become part of the preparation for publishing an encyclopedia of human events which will, under the guidance of absolute values, contribute to right insight into the original human character and become proper material for education.
Respected scholars! Remaining indifferent to the existing world of paradoxes, posing no alternatives, could we say that we have fulfilled our leadership and social responsibility? We must show a standard through not missing this precious momentum which has come not merely by chance but which God has granted us historically and globally. We should be examples ourselves by leaping ahead and firmly awaken all people to fight against injustice. Leaping involves risky adventure. Fully-dimensioned adventure on a false foundation would bring greater difficulties. However, wherever there is truth, there is always bound to be its practice. We must be champions for the practice of absolute values and actively lead the world.
I hope that this conference will not only become a forum for free discussions in which useful conclusions are reached, but that it will also become a historical event through which we, with our determination, can push this suffering world to give birth to the world of new culture. I deeply thank the members of the Preparation Committee for their very hard work for this conference.
May God bless all of you and your families!