Essentials Of Unification Thought - The Head-Wing Thought
II. Determination of Actual Value and the Unification of Views of Value
A. The Essence of Value
Value is actualized through the give-and-receive action between subject and object. 'File essence of value, which is appraised by tile subject, lies in the object. As a result, there are two aspects in value: as the aspect of the essence of value, which is possessed by the object, and the aspect of the actualization of value, which takes place between tile subject and tile object. The former is called "potential value," and the latter, "actual value."
The essence of value, or potential value, consists of the purpose of creation of tile object and the harmony between paired elements existing in the object. First, every created being has a purpose for which it was created, namely, its purpose of creation. For example, a flower has the purpose to give joy to people through its beauty. Not only in the beings created by God, but also in things produced by people (e.g., art works, commodities) there is always a purpose for which they were created. Next, the harmony between paired elements refers to the harmony between the subject element and object element existing in the object, such as Sungsang and Hyungsang, Yang and Yin, and principal element and subordinate element. In this way, the paired elements are harmonized centering on tile purpose of creation. That is what constitutes the essence of value, or potential value.
B. Determination of Actual Value in Correlative Relationship
Value is determined, or appraised, through give-and-receive action between the subject and object. The conditions that the object must have, or the "object requisites," are its purpose of creation and harmony between its paired elements, as mentioned above. On the other hand, there are also conditions that the subject must meet in order for value to be determined, that is, the "subject requisites." First, the subject must have a desire to seek value; next, the subject must have concern for, or interest in, the object. In addition, the subject's philosophy, taste, individuality, education, view of life, outlook on history, world view, and so on, are conditions that influence tile determination of value. These are the Sungsang requisites that the subject necessarily has. There are also Hyungsang requisites for the subject, which are the abilities of a healthy physical body.
When the subject requisites and the object requisites are established, give-and-receive action can take place between subject and object, whereby value is determined. Determining value means determining the quantity and quality of value. The quantity of value refers to the quantitative appraisal of value, such as "very beautiful," or "not so beautiful." There are also qualitative differences in value. For example, in beauty there are various nuances, such as graceful beauty, awesome beauty, solemn beauty, and comic beauty (see tile chapter on the theory of art). These are qualitative differences of value.
When the moon is observed by different people, for instance, it sometimes appears sad to one person but happy to ;mother. Even when the same person looks at the moon, if the person is sad, the moon may look sad, but if that person is happy, the moon may look happy. Differences in beauty arise depending on tile mood of the subject. This can be said not only about beauty, but also about goodness and trueness; the same applies to the value of commodities. Thus, quantitative and qualitative differences in value arise because the subject's subjectivity is reflected on the object. In other words, tile subject conditions can influence the determination of value, and this is called "subjective action." There are many passages in the Reverend Sun Myung Moon's speeches referring to subjective action in the determination of value. For example, while speaking about Heart, he said,
Suppose the Son of God gave you a handkerchief. That handkerchief would be worth more than gold, more than life, more than anything else in the world. If you are a real Son of God, whatever humble place you may lay yourself, it is a palace. Then our clothing is no problem, and the place we sleep is no problem, because we are already rich. We are the princes of God. 5
In Buddhism, there is a saying, "The three realms are only manifestations of the mind." This means that all the phenomena of the three realms, (Le, the entire world), are manifestations of the mind. 6 In that viewpoint, the appraisal of the value of an object is a totally subjective matter. However, too much emphasis is placed on subjective action.
C The Standard for Determining Value
1. The Correlative Standard
The determination, or appraisal, of value, as mentioned earlier, differs according to the individual subject. Yet, when there are many commonalities in the subject conditions, there will also be many points of agreement in the appraisal of value. Among people who believe in the same religion or philosophy, the way they feel about values will be almost the same. For example, among Confucianists, filial piety toward parents is universally held as good.
Accordingly, among people who have the same religion or philosophy, the unification of values is quite possible. For example, during the period of the Pax Romana, the Stoic spirit of self-control and cosmopolitanism were commonly accepted values. During the Tang period in China, Buddhism was the unifying view of value. The same was true during the period of the Unified Silla dynasty in Korea. In the United States, Christianity, especially Protestantism, has been its unifying view of value. Thus, in those regions where people have the same religion or philosophy, their views of value become very similar.
Differences in the views of value do arise, however, among different religions, different cultures, and different philosophies. For example, in Hinduism, eating beef is not allowed, whereas in Islam, eating beef is allowed, but eating pork is not. In another example, when Communists talk about peace, they mean something quite different from what that term means in the free world. In this way, when standards for value judgment apply only to a limited sphere, we call them "relative standards."
2. The Absolute Standard
Humankind's values cannot be unified through such relative standards, nor will the conflicts and struggles resulting in differences in values come to an end if we base ourselves on relative standards alone. In order to unify the values of humankind, a standard for value judgment must be established that will be common to all people, transcending differences in culture, thought, nationality, and so on. That is the absolute standard.
But is it possible to establish an absolute standard? In order to show that it is possible, we must prove that the causal being of the universe, who gave rise to all religions, cultures, thought systems, and all human beings, is one, and absolute being. Further, we must discover the commonalities originating from the causal being.
Indeed, as explained in greater detail in "Ontology," common attributes can be found in all things. The things in the universe exist in innumerable ways, but they move in a specific order, and there are commonalities among them. The reason is that all things in the universe were created in resemblance of the causal being, or God. Likewise, though there are many religions, cultures, philosophies, and peoples-all of them different from one another-if there is one causal being that gave rise to all of them, then there must be commonalities among them originating from that causal being, or fundamental being.
Numerous religions have emerged throughout history, but they were not arbitrarily established by their founders. In order to save all of humankind, God established specific founders in specific regions and in specific periods of time, seeking to save the people of each region and in each period. The reason is that God has been carrying on the dispensation of salvation for peoples of different languages, different customs, and different environments, and He has been doing that in a way that is most suitable For each case.
Thus, in order to discover the commonalities of different religions, it is necessary to prove that the causal being, who established all religions, is one and the same being. The causal being of all things in the universe is called God in Christianity, Jehovah in Judaism, Allah in Islam, Brahman in Hinduism, Tathata in Buddhism, and Heaven in Confucianism. Yet, die attributes of the causal being, or fundamental being, have not been clearly stated in any of these religions. For example, in Confucianism, the concrete nature of Heaven is not sufficiently explained, and no sufficient explanation is given about Tathala in Buddhism or about Brahman in Hinduism. In addition, the reason why God (in Christianity) or Allah (in Islam) has created humankind and the universe is not explained; nor is it explained why the Creator does not instantly save the world from its misery. Accordingly, the causal being, as understood in the various religions, is vague, as if hidden by a veil. Furthermore, since each religion grasps only some aspect of the causal being, the causal being appears to be different in different religions.
In order to prove that the causal being of these different religions, after all, is one and the same being, we need to understand correctly the attributes of God, the purpose of creation, the laws (or Logos) of the creation of the universe, and so on. If we acquire such an understanding, we will come to realize that all religions are brothers and sisters originating from one and the same God. We will also put an end to the long-lasting conflicts and struggles among religions, and will come to reconcile with one another and love one another. Thus, we find that the correct knowledge of the nature of God is the key to the solution of actual problems. The same thing can be said about cultures, philosophies, and peoples. If we understand that the fundamental being that gave rise to all cultures, philosophies, and peoples is one and the same being, then commonalities can also be identified.
Then, what are the commonalities that can become the absolute standard in the appraisal of values? They are God's love (absolute love) and God's truth (absolute truth).7 God created humankind in order to obtain joy through love, and God's love is common to agape in Christianity, mercy in Buddhism, jen in Confucianism, compassion in Islam, and so on. God's love is manifested among human beings in the form of the triple-object love, namely parental love, conjugal love, and children's love.
The practice of love for one's neighbor in Christianity, the practice of mercy in Buddhism, the practice of jen (benevolence) in Confucianism, the practice of compassion in Islam, and so on, all have in common the actualization of this triple-object love.
The truth (law) through which God created the universe and which governs the movement of the universe, is also eternal and universal. The fundamental law of the universe is that beings exist, not for their own sake, but for the sake of others and for the sake of God. That is to say, they are "for-others" beings. Accordingly, the universal standard of good and evil is whether one lives for other people (humankind) or lives for oneself in a self-centered way. 8
In this way, the absolute standard for the appraisal of values comes to be established. But what about a person's individuality? The existence of commonality in determining value does not exclude individuality, which should be preserved as it is. People are beings with dual purpose: the purpose for the whole and the purpose for the individual. Also, they are individual truth bodies with a universal image and an individual image. Therefore, they pursue the purpose for the individual while giving priority to the purpose for the whole, and express individuality while maintaining the universal image.
Therefore, the appraisal of value, though based on the absolute standard, cannot be immune from one's individuality, that is, from subjective action. Nevertheless, individual differences must still be base(] on commonality. As long as there is a common base there can be no confusion in tile view of values. Yet, in fallen society there is little commonality, whereas the differences are quite apparent. Because of the absence of a common ground, confusion of values has risen.
Here, the establishment of a new view of value and the unification of existing systems of value become possible. This new view of value is based on God's absolute love and absolute truth, which is the absolute value.( With this absolute value, all value systems can be harmonized. This is none other than the unification of system of value.
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