Absolute Values and The Reassessment of the Contemporary World

Absolute Values and The Reassessment of the Contemporary World

Reverend Sun Myung Moon
Address To The Participants Of The 17th ICUS
November 25th, 1988
Los Angeles, California U. S. A.

Honorable Chairman, committee chairmen, distinguished scholars, ladies and gentlemen. I am truly delighted to welcome you to this seventeenth 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. This was 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 peace 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 one hundred and sixty nation of East and West, North and South, could all join together in open and friendly games. The sight of Americans and Russians, 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 does 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, though on an external level. What do I mean by this?

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 on the horizontal axis the 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 God’s 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 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.

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 hundred 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. However, 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 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, l988, 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, l990. 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.

In reassessing the contemporary world we must examine the possibilities for absolute values in our fields that can create the same spirit of world peace and harmony that can be 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 physical well-being within a comfortable and productive environment, and respect for the traditions of every culture. We must lift up the absolute value which 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 which have been blessed with material and technological advantages willingly share them 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 ultimately 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 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 hold back information seeking only to make a name for himself? Does a scientific discipline restrict its theoretical and practical findings to itself, or 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 particular national policy benefit other nations or does it use them 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.

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.

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 which 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 which 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. That 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 not only to 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.