Absolute, Values and the Reassessment of the Contemporary World and ICUS 17 report

Absolute, Values and the Reassessment of the Contemporary World

Sun Myung Moon and Tamara Grapek
November 25, 1988
Founder’s Address at the 17th ICUS
Los Angeles

Honorable chairman, committee chairmen, distinguished scholars, ladies and gentlemen: I am truly delighted to welcome you to this 17th International Conference on the Unity of the Sciences.

I recently returned from Korea, where, as you know, my country hosted the 24th Olympic Games. As a Korean, I was proud that for the first time the Olympics were held in my country. These were the largest Olympics ever held. I was doubly proud, because my daughter Un Jin and my son Hyun Jin competed in the Olympics on the Korean equestrian team. This was the first time that Korea ever entered an equestrian team in the Olympics. No, they did not win any medals. But it was a great honor, and a great joy, to see them representing their country.

But more than for the sake of my family, more than for the sake of my country, I was proud and impressed by the Olympics as a festival that lifts up the ideals of world ace and harmony. As you know, Korea is a divided country, still aching from the division between the communist North and the free democracy in the South. Thus it was especially meaningful that there in Korea, athletes from 160 nations of East and West, North and South, could all join together in open and friendly games. The sight of Americans, Russians, and Chinese, East Germans and West Germans — people from all nations — joined hand in hand thrilled our hearts. I think it thrilled God’s heart, too. For this represents the ideal of world peace and unity that we all hope for, and that God is striving to realize through us.

What do the Olympics have to do with our theme “Absolute Values and the Reassessment of the Contemporary World”? Exactly that the Olympics are a good example of people from all nations striving toward absolute values, although on an external level. What do I mean by this?

Vertical and Horizontal Axes
I have said many times that the essence of absolute values is true love, based on the model of the human family. The family has two axes: the vertical axis between God, parents, and children and the horizontal axis between husband and wife, brothers and sisters. The model of the family can be expanded to the level of the nation, where the vertical axis is represented by the basic moral principles and constitution of the nation, and the horizontal axis is represented by our common civic responsibility and the relationships between citizens. On every level we can speak of these two axes. True love thus has two axes, the vertical and the horizontal.

True love on the vertical axis means that God is the Creator; He is the source of true love, and He loves His creation. Human beings, as the supreme creation of God, are the recipients of Gods true love, and return love and beauty to Him.

True love on the horizontal axis means that our actions are motivated by love for the sake of others, and we give our love to others in a way that will be genuinely beneficial to them. Within a family, the husband may energetically pursue the will of God, even running far ahead of his wife. But if his motivation is for the sake of his family, all the members of that family will feel united in love. We can see, therefore, that the true concept of unification emerges when we act from the motivation of sacrificially loving others.

All creation is an effort of giving. It is a universal law that the giver prospers and grows. When a person only takes from others in order to satisfy his desires, that selfish action is not love, and it ultimately creates enemies. He will become more isolated and will decline. But a person who gives of himself to benefit others creates friends who will in turn help him. He will inevitably receive more than he gave, and he will prosper. Therefore, the person of true love lives for the highest purpose, and then gives of himself. These two axes of true love are the principle behind Jesus’ great commandment. “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind” teaches the vertical axis of true love, and “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” teaches the horizontal axis of true love.

Deepen the Vertical Relationship
The Olympics were a good expression of seeking absolute values in a horizontal way. Athletics requires total giving. No athlete can succeed without expending his 100 percent effort. He cannot survive if he expects merely to receive praise from others. He has to earn his medals by shedding his sweat and tears. Therefore his accomplishment is respected universally, and no one can take it away from him. If an athlete gives a half-hearted effort, seeking a short-cut to victory, he can never win. Thus the standard of total effort is quite firm as a horizontal absolute value.

Even with successes such as the Olympics, however, we know very well that the world has been unable to overcome the barriers of nationalism, religion, and race. Because of this, humanity suffers from countless wars and conflicts. Human beings have two aspects — the physical and the spiritual. The modern Olympic Games, which celebrate the pursuit of the physical aspect of the excellence of humankind, are a festival to promote the horizontal value of world harmony on an external level. But we need to establish the vertical value, which is based on the relationship between God and mankind centered on true love.

This is the meaning behind my recent announcement, on September 27, 1988, of a World Festival of Culture. This will be an “Olympics of World Culture,” gathering major figures from the arts, the sciences, the news media, religion, economics, and politics, as well as athletes. The World Festival of Culture will celebrate and deepen the vertical relationship between God and mankind. The Festival will take place every three years. The first will be held in Seoul, Korea, for two weeks beginning on September 18,1990. The success of the ICUS conferences over the years, as well as the work of the Professors World Peace Academy, the conferences of religious leaders sponsored by the International Religious Foundation, the World Media Conference, the Summit Council for World Peace, and the Artists Association International are all foundations upon which I realistically believe that the World Festival of Culture will be a success.

The Highest Public Purpose
In reassessing the contemporary world, we must each examine, in our own fields, the possibilities for absolute values that can create the same spirit of world peace and harmony found in the Olympic Games. In a world of many cultures, religions, and social systems, where can we• find a transcendent ideal and public purpose that can harmonize them all? To avoid being misled by partial values that favor one nation, culture, religion, race, or social system over another, we invite scientists and scholars representing every nationality, culture, religion, race, and social system in a common search for truth. This truth should regard both the spiritual and physical aspects of human beings — that is, the needs of a human being’s physical wellbeing within a comfortable and productive environment as well as respect for the traditions of every culture. We must lift up the absolute value that will create the basis for constructive cooperation in every aspect of human existence. That will be the vertical axis of absolute value: the highest public purpose based upon a transcendent ideal.

Then we should also examine the world’s shortcomings with regard to the horizontal dimension of absolute value, which is the standard of true giving. For example, we can never have world peace until those nations that have been blessed with material and technological advantages share them willingly with the other nations of the world. The blessings of science and technology are meant for all humankind, and they should be shared. Every nation should have an equal chance to utilize technology for the people’s well being, just as all nations’ athletes should enjoy high-quality coaching and be able to compete on a level playing field. Otherwise, the advanced nations will be resented and hated by those who are deprived. The Unification movement is committed to sharing the blessings of technology with all nations and to helping the developing nations establish their own industrial base as the key to economic independence.

We should reassess the contemporary world and proclaim a new standard of giving. Does an industrial process give more benefit to society and the environment than the value it takes from them? Does an individual scientist share the results of his research for the benefit of the world, or does he hold back information seeking only to make a name for himself? Does a scientific discipline restrict its theoretical and practical findings to itself, or does it seek to share them with scientists of other fields and also receive insights from other fields? Does a social philosophy benefit and strengthen the absolute values of love in the family, civic virtue, and social responsibility, or does it weaken these values? Does a nation’s foreign policy benefit other nations, or does that nation use it for its own self-interest? These are some of the reassessments we should make on the basis of a standard of giving — the horizontal absolute value.

Restore God’s True Love
In closing, we recall the perennial questions that have been at the root of the human search for absolute value: What is man? Where do his mind and body come from? Why has it been so difficult to achieve the unity of mind and body?

The human mind is the vertical self, and the body is the horizontal self. These two “selves” should be in harmony, but they have been in conflict. Furthermore, the conflict between mind and body within the individual is the very root of the conflicts found within the family, community, nation, and world.

To resolve this conflict, we must return to the original purpose of God’s creation. God is a being of true love. To express that true love, He created children. When children stand upon the foundation of the true love of their parents, and return that love and beauty to them, they possess the rights and value of their parents. That is, they receive the right of inheritance, the right of participation, and the right of living together. When men and women are connected to God through this true love foundation, the real meaning of eternal life is realized.

God stands in the position of vertical parents of true love to humankind. Furthermore, the first human parents, known in the Bible as Adam and Eve, should have become the horizontal manifestation of God. They would then have been the horizontal parents embodying God’s true love toward all of mankind and all creation. Because of the fall of man, the positions of both vertical and horizontal parents of true love were lost. Adam and Eve made an illicit horizontal love relationship with Satan. This relationship allowed Satan to become the ancestor of mankind, and mankind inherited Satan’s false blood lineage.

The Unification Church has been teaching this principle and has been working to restore God’s true love to human life. Upon the foundation of this principle we have been holding international weddings, which seek to make God’s love manifest in the family, nation, and world. These ceremonies might be called “mass family-creating.” The World Festival of Culture will also provide an opportunity for people to participate in the creation of such families of true love.

Triumph With This Vision
In Korea, an “Olympic Village” was constructed to house the athletes who came to participate in the Olympic Games. I feel that this village is a symbol of a world of peace, united in the love of God. When we understand and fulfill God’s purpose of creation, the entire world will be an “Olympic Village.”

God’s true love is the vertical love that He gives to mankind. This is the vertical true parent’s love. The horizontal true parents’ love is embodied in the original human couple blessed in marriage by God. The crossing point must be a perfect 90 degree angle so that eternal, harmonious true love is realized. From this point, all humankind can resonate with true love.

Mind and body can resonate in unity only when a person is living in God’s true love. This individual then becomes the basis of the family, nation, and world resonating with the true love of God. This resonant true love foundation becomes the basis for the establishment of one world under God, the world of absolute value. This is the world that the Messiah, coming as the horizontal parent of true love, comes to establish along with God, the vertical parent of true love.

Now is the time to demonstrate the true love relationship in every area of life. This will create the peaceful, harmonious family, community, and nation and a new world of peace.

Scientists and intellectuals who can comprehend this vision are surely the ones to not only apply it to their fields of expertise, but also to triumph with it in their personal lives. Let us join together to bring about a revolution of values and lead humanity into a new world that perpetually embodies the spirit of true love.

Thank you very much.

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The 17th International Conference on the Unity of the Sciences
Tamara Grapek
November 24-27, 1988
Los Angeles

From November 24, Thanksgiving Day, to November 27, 1988, the 17th ICUS took place eventfully at the Stouffer Concourse Hotel in Los Angeles. About 300 top-level scientists and scholars participated, representing 49 countries, including six nations from behind the Iron and Bamboo Curtains.

After flying into Los Angeles on Thanksgiving Day from various parts of the country and the world, the participants enjoyed a delicious Thanksgiving buffet in the afternoon. Later that evening, True Parents greeted each of them and their spouses at a dignified reception held in the hotel’s large ballroom. Flower arrangements decorated the entire hall, where hundreds of hors d’oeuvres were beautifully prepared and arranged on tables.

The Opening Plenary
Next morning, the conference officially began with the Opening Plenary Session. Dr. Michael Higatsberger, a renowned Austrian physicist and inventor and one of the two conference vice-chairmen this year, had the honor of introducing Father. Dr. Higatsberger began by saying:

Recently I read a philosophical statement saying that “All that is necessary for the forces of evil to win the world is for enough good men to do nothing.” At this Opening Session we recognize in the audience and at the head table many good men — and good women — who have done and are doing something.

After a detailed description of Father’s life and works he went on to quote a statement by Albert Einstein:

“It is right in principle that those should be the best loved who have contributed most to the elevation of the human race and human life. But if one goes on to ask who they are, one finds oneself in no inconsiderable difficulties…. I most seriously believe that one does people the best service by giving them some elevating work to do, and thus indirectly elevating them.”

He said this quote could definitely be applied to Rev. Moon.

Then Father took the podium and delivered his Founder’s Address. In his speech Father stressed:

We can never have world peace until those nations that have been blessed with material and technological advantages willingly share them with the other nations of the world.

… We should reassess the contemporary world and proclaim a new standard of giving.

Father concluded with a call for scientists to “join together to bring about a revolution of values and lead humanity into a new world that perpetually embodies the spirit of true love.”

Indeed these statements embodied the inspirational theme of this year’s ICUS: Absolute Values and the Reassessment of the Contemporary World. It is a theme that many scientists expressed in their own words at one time or another during the conference.

After Father’s speech, Sir John Eccles, winner of the Nobel Prize for Physiology and Medicine in 1963, spoke on the “Evolution of the Human Brain: Creation of the Conscious Self.” After summarizing the history of human physical evolution as found in fossil records, Sir Eccles stated:

The creation of the conscious self with all of its spiritual attributes is a miracle forever beyond science and materialism. Materialist solutions fail to account for our experienced uniqueness. I am constrained to attribute the uniqueness of the psyche or soul to a supernatural creation. Each soul is a new Divine creation which is “attached” to the growing fetus sometime between conception and birth. I submit that no other explanation is tenable; neither the genetic uniqueness with its fantastically impossible lottery, nor the environmental differentiations which do not determine one’s uniqueness but merely modify it. In some mysterious way, God is the creator of all the living forms in the evolutionary process, and particularly in hominid evolution of human persons, each with the conscious self-hood of an immortal soul. We may conclude by saying that biological evolution transcends itself in providing the material basis, the human brain, for self-conscious beings whose very nature is to seek for hope and to enquire for meaning in the quest for love, truth, and beauty.

Gleaning Insight and Hope
Following the Opening Plenary Session, the participants went into seven committees that met over three days to deliberate on the more than 90 papers that had been prepared. For the first time in the history of ICUS, each of the committees had a Unificationist paper writer. Writing a scholarly paper for an ICUS committee is no small task. Papers must be well-researched, and conclusions must be based on solid facts. Each paper is read by all the other members of the committee, who offer criticisms and ask questions during the committee sessions.

Anyone observing the committees in progress, where participants scrutinize and discuss each other’s papers in detail, would understand that these are people who would never give their trust or emotional support to anyone who could not favorably endure their critical investigation. Yet brilliant and probing minds are coming in ever-increasing numbers to concur with and support Father’s ideas about helping the world. Sadly, the established media in this country have again done a great disservice to the public by intentionally ignoring the ICUS conference this year as it has done at times in the past.

On the afternoon of November 26, Dr. Frederick Seitz, former president of Rockefeller University in New York, delivered an address on “A Physicist’s View of Living Systems.” Before his presentation, Dr. Seitz spoke a few words expressing his gratitude to the founder of ICUS for making such a conference possible.

He also expressed regret over Father’s unjust imprisonment several years ago, calling it politically motivated. “I hope,” he said, that this kind of persecution against Rev. Moon will soon come to an end.”

During the conference the participants made many interesting comments and drew insightful conclusions. One woman commented that in order for anyone to accomplish something he or she must be getting a blessing from somewhere — it’s not just a matter of pending a lot of money. “If you give a lot of money to the communists for their causes, it just goes down the drain and accomplishes nothing,” she remarked. She expressed gratitude for the “civilizing influence” Rev. Moon has had on society, especially on young people.

Another participant said, “I challenge anyone else, especially any of Rev. Moon’s critics, to do a better job putting on a conference of this scope and nature.”

Morton Kaplan, editor and publisher of The World and I, who worked on Committee VII studying the ethics of nuclear deterrence, concluded that the only real alternative to nuclear deterrence is to “change the world!”

Attentiveness In All Areas
To give credit where credit is due, it must be mentioned that the staff of the Stouffer Concourse Hotel made every effort to help the conference go as smoothly as possible. The following is an example of the kind of attentiveness that helped make the conference a success. Dr. Higatsberger’s luggage was lost en route to Los Angeles, leaving him without a suit for the Opening Plenary when he was to introduce Father. The hotel manager promptly offered an expensive Italian made suit of his own to Dr. Higatsberger, who was the same size!

The three days passed like a whirlwind. On the afternoon of November 27, the ICUS summary session speech was given by Dr. Alvin Weinberg, distinguished fellow at the Institute for Energy Analysis in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, and the conference chairman for this year. In summing up his observations and feelings about the conference, Dr. Weinberg declared:

I confess to being daunted when I first saw the more than 90 papers, which initially seemed to have few common themes, especially our continuing two themes of unity and value and our title theme of the reassessment of the contemporary world. But as I studied this rich intellectual feast, I was delighted to discern common threads that were entirely relevant to our themes. And there were threads that paper writers themselves could not discern, since these threads often emerged only from comparison of papers from different, non-interacting committees. I must therefore congratulate our participants for having responded, bravely and eloquently, to Rev. Moon’s charge — both with respect to our continuing and our title themes.

He continued with an assessment of the substantial accomplishments of each committee toward the goals of ICUS.

After the Closing Plenary, participants prepared for the final event — a Farewell Banquet hosted by Father and Mother. As the scholars and their spouses as well as many other guests invited especially for that evening dine,’ by candlelight, they were entertained by a rich musical program that had been painstakingly prepared by David Eaton and Kevin Pickard. The New York City Symphony, with members of the Los Angeles Symphony, presented pieces by Beethoven, George Butterworth, and Mozart under the baton of David Eaton. Then guests enjoyed the music of Oxana Yablonskaya, an eminent Soviet-born pianist. Oxana Yablonskaya has received the enthusiastic acclaim of the New York press and has been called “one of the Soviet Union’s best kept secrets.” Finally, Kevin Pickard conducted the New York City Symphony in his own composition, Prelude to Peace.

“I Feel New Courage” Various participants and VIP guests sitting at the head table with Father and Mother expressed their confidence in and appreciation for Father as an exemplary man and leader. A prominent former police commissioner of Los Angeles, representing the mayor (who was unable to attend), awarded a beautifully-lettered proclamation to Father, which declared November 25 as a day for the recognition of science and values in Los Angeles. Quoting from Matthew 25:35-36, the commissioner said, “‘I was hungry and you gave me food; I was thirsty and you gave me drink; I was a stranger and you welcomed me; I was naked and you clothed me; I was sick and you visited me; I was in prison and you came to me.’ When I read this, I thought, Why, that’s Rev. Moon!… Sometimes in difficult times when I feel hopeless, I think of him and what he has had to overcome, and I feel new courage come to me.”

Dr. Paul Fisher, an American inventor who, among many other accomplishments, invented the Fisher Space Pen, which writes in zero gravity, presented one of his gold pens to Father. Shaking Father’s hand, Dr. Fisher told him warmly, “During those moments when you find yourself in a difficult spot, I hope this may be of some help!”

In his brief remarks, Dr. Kenneth Mellanby, who chaired ICUS three times in the past, announced that the next ICUS would convene during the World Festival of Culture in Seoul in 1990. About the World Festival of Culture itself Dr. Mellanby said, “If it were anyone else other than Rev. Moon wanting to do such a project, I’d say, Nonsense! It’ll be a total flop! But I know that Rev. Moon is a man who does not have the word ‘failure’ in his vocabulary.”

Dr. Haing S. Ngor, the Cambodian medical doctor and actor who won an Academy Award for his part in the movie The Killing Fields, delivered a brief, impassioned speech which served to emphasize one of the purposes for which all these scientists had gathered. Dr. Ngor testified to the misery of hundreds of thousands of survivors of the communist holocaust in Cambodia eight years ago who are still languishing today in refugee camps in Thailand. They are yearning for one day of freedom such as people have enjoyed so liberally here all their lives,” Dr. Ngor said. “I ask you when you leave this place and go to your homes, before you go to sleep, please close your eyes and open your minds and try to answer this question: Why is life so different for those people than it is for us here?”

In his closing remarks at the Farewell Banquet, Father reiterated his earlier call to the scientists to take responsibility for the world. He stated that he has always believed that scientists with their brilliant minds were the people who could save the world. “Your mission,” he told them, “is no less than the salvation of humankind.”

A beautiful trophy was also presented to Father, engraved with the words:

Presented To the Reverend Sun Myung Moon
Founder of the International Conference On the Unity of the Sciences

In Grateful Recognition of His Visionary Leadership and Unsurpassed Devotion to Establishing a World of Peace, Harmony, and True Love;

And the Seventeen Successful Years of ICUS.

As We Prepare to Enter the 21st Century, His New Proposal For a World Festival of Culture Offers Hope and Promise of a Better World,

And We Pledge Our Support to Him in its Realization.

The ICUS Planning Board

ICUS XVII (1988)

Los Angeles

Committees of the 17th ICUS
Committee I: The Evolution of Man
Committee II: Ethnocentrism vs. World Unity: Impacts on Socialism and Education
Committee III: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Development and Modernization
Committee IV: East-West Perspectives on Spirit and Science
Committee V: Eco-Philosophy as a New Metaphysical and Cultural Reconstruction
Committee VI: Neurobiology in Relation to Global Ideology and Values
Committee VII: The Ethics of Nuclear Deterrence