AND FORBIDDEN LOVE
AN INVESTIGATION INTO THE CAUSE OF
IMMORALITY AND SUFFERING,
ITS HISTORICAL ORIGIN AND ITS SOLUTION
THE HISTORICAL CONSEQUENCES OF THE FALL
Due to the fall, the first human family separated from God and fell under the influence of the rebellious archangel. With the misdirection of love, a false tradition and false way of life appeared. From that moment, evil habits and sin multiplied through the first family's descendants.
As a result a "world" outside God's principle, opposed to His ideals and outside His control, developed. Using a religious term, we refer to the world of vice, confusion, poverty, exploitation, war and suffering as "Hell".
Humanity, separated from God, without true laws and in a state of disorder, became brute-like and degraded. In the absence of a common purpose and ideal, men were alienated and gradually lost their identity. Human beings, upon losing their spiritual light, fell into a state of savagery with a spiritual sensibility as dull as that of animals.
Fights and conflicts isolated humans more and more. This resulted in division and continuous separation. It created and increased the territorial barriers of communication, accelerating notable differences in race, language, belief, customs, etc. which characterized human history. The fall reduced humanity to a primitive ignorant state of barbarism which stagnated human moral and material development.
However, notwithstanding the lowering of spiritual standards, humanity always kept within them the good potential of our original nature. God was, therefore, able to work through our conscience, gradually developing and elevating our heart and intellect.
God has been inspiring us to fulfil our responsibility. Since the dawn of history, God has been the hidden force that has guided the plan to restore this world of sin to its original state and recover His lost ideal.
God, our Creator, has a Will. That Will is to restore this world to one of true love and peace. Ultimately, He will restore His original ideal world, re-creating it from the present circumstances of this world.
Consequently, from this point of view, human history has a direction and a goal. That goal is the restoration or the spiritual re-creation of mankind from the fallen state to the original state. History's objective is thus to convert "Hell" into the "Kingdom of Heaven".
Traditionally so much has been said about salvation. But, what is salvation? Salvation is precisely that: restoration. A doctor saves a patient by helping him to recover or restore his lost health. This process requires the cooperation of both the doctor and the patient.
God's efforts throughout history reflect a similar situation. Although God is all-powerful, He could not save humanity by His power alone, as man's cooperation and effort are also necessary. History is therefore the record of the efforts of God and man, of both successes and failures, in response to the help of God.
Why does God want to save us in spite of the fact that we are the ones who betrayed and abandoned Him, creating this world of hell and tragedy? There are three fundamental reasons:
First, because God is all-powerful and absolute. When He decides to achieve His goal, ultimately nothing or no one will stop it. He will never be defeated by Satan. If God is all- powerful, the least that He would be capable to accomplish would be to create a world of peace and happiness for humanity. If this type of world could not be realized, then we could conclude that God does not exist.
Secondly, God created human beings as His children. Although we have betrayed Him many times, God is our True Father. He could not abandon us. His happiness is completely dependent upon us. Just as human parents feel the most concern and sympathy for the son or daughter who suffers most, God's concern draws Him to His children who suffer. Because of true love God could not separate Himself from our misery. The all-powerful Creator is also our loving Father who suffers with all of us. For this reason He will definitely resolve the problem of the fall.
Thirdly, God created the human spirit to be indestructible and eternal. Therefore, even if this physical world were destroyed, the spirits of innumerable people who lived in the past would remain in the spirit world unable to be liberated. Until humanity is restored physically and spiritually, the results of the Fall will not be solved and these people cannot be restored.
The record of God's efforts to save humanity is registered in the history of world religion. In fact, the word religion comes from the Latin word "religare" which means rebind. The true purpose of religion, therefore, is to unite man again with God and restore His original ideal.
The religious nature of man we see from the time of the earliest paintings of primitive man, who already described spiritual beings and forces. God was able to elevate humanity's intellectual and moral level stage by stage. Higher religious expressions developed, reflecting a progress in restoration. As the fall removed us from the Truth, we must recreate ourselves by the Word or Truth in the process of restoration.
That is why God always works through righteous and sacred persons, through prophets and spiritual leaders who appeared progressively throughout history to explain the divine truth. When we observe the common points and the gradual unification of ideals in the history of religion, we can see God as the inspiring source.
In his profound study on the evolution of cultural spheres, Arnold Toynbee discovered that cultures have always developed around a religion. Whenever a more universal and elevated religion developed, a higher form of culture also appeared, eventually reaching out to and absorbing the neighboring cultures of a lesser level. Those people and nations in history which could not advance to a higher religious philosophy were always absorbed.
In the past our world consisted of more than twenty six different cultural spheres, which in the course of history united to create the present world's four great fundamental cultural spheres: Hinduism-Buddhism, Judeo-Christianity, Islam and the cultures of the Far East, Confucianism-Taoism-Shintoism.
The conclusion of Arnold Toynbee is that, in fact, we are moving toward one single worldwide culture. Increasing means of communication will further accelerate this process. For the Divine Principle this is not a coincidence, but the result of God's and man's efforts to recreate a unified world that strives to restore God's eternal and unchanging ideal.
The scientific developments and technology that we enjoy today are extraordinary. We have the capacity and the external means to construct a marvelous world of comfort and well-being for all humanity. However, in spite of this great potential, we are not yet capable of building a harmonious world of peace and happiness because there has been no parallel development on the spiritual and moral level.
An imbalance exists between our external know-how and our internal development. For example, although we left the Earth to explore outer space and have succeeded in putting men on the moon, we are still incapable of living and successfully applying, ethical and moral norms such as the Ten Commandments given by God to Moses approximately 4,000 years ago.
In spite of all our progress, we are still not fulfilling our role as the true lords of creation, protecting the precious inheritance that God gave us. In fact, because of our fallen nature we have even mistreated nature and prevented it from fulfilling its proper function.
Instead of existing in harmony with the environment, human selfishness and greed have led us to exploit nature irrationally, generating a hostility.
The Apostle Paul talks about this suffering of nature which he compares with the pains of childbirth, anxiously waiting for the revealing of the children of God (Rom. 8:22). And not only nature, but also God and all humanity are waiting for that great change and transformation which will allow us to recover our value and dignity as God's children and realize a world free of evil and sin.
The majority of thinking people surely agree that we need a profound transformation to liberate us from chaos, immorality, violence and corruption.
But, with few exceptions, the general tendency until now, has been to look first at the problems we see outside of ourselves; we want to "see the straw in the other's eye". That is why so much hope was placed in the belief that certain programs or political and economic systems would give us the ultimate solution.
For example, when the Bolshevik revolution triumphed in 1917, it created great expectation and its leaders were proud to end an old system of exploitation and impose a new one which promised justice and peace. Today, the whole world is witness to the tragedy of that system and its subsequent failure.
The great lesson we can learn from this and similar experiences in the past is that it is illusory to pretend that we first have to change society and its structures so that later those changes will necessarily transform human conduct.
No new plan, program or system can work if it is guided by the same corrupt people. Unless man changes, nothing will change. The root of human problems begins with the selfish attitude of the individual on whom the structures and systems of society are built. Only when man is capable of overcoming selfishness in himself will it be possible to foresee permanent and stable changes in society.
That is where humanity should direct its hope and dreams of true peace in the future. The will of God is to eradicate selfishness in each individual, and then to transform and re- create humanity in His own temple, so that all people become sacred.
True worldwide peace and harmony between nations therefore does not begin on the national level, but in the perfection of the individual. Each person is perfected upon being converted
DIAGRAM 7into a temple of God. This is where worldwide peace starts. Each one of us is the true starting point of worldwide peace and the ideal world.
We need to completely restore our spiritual sensitivity, so that we can never mistreat or harm others. We must come to feel the suffering and pain of others as our own. In the same way, our happiness also will be achieved when we make others happy.
In the original world of God's creation, man fighting man would be like the right hand fighting the left, or even worse, like your own hand pulling out your own eyes. In the ideal world there would be no conflict, no evil. There would only be harmony, cooperation and mutual assistance. There would be unity among people in the pursuit of truth, goodness and beauty. This would truly be the world of peace that humanity is seeking.
We have to recognize, therefore, that of all the transformations which affected the destiny of history, the biggest and most important transformation has yet to be realized.
Of all the battles that have ever been fought, the most fundamental one is yet to come. That is the struggle in which each one of us individually has to finally overcome the evil within ourselves and become free. We must thus purify and liberate ourselves from sin. To be more specific, we must erase false and illicit love completely from our heart and memory. Such love has poisoned humanity for such a long time.
These profound revelations about the origin of immorality and evil are of vital importance, as they clarify to us the nature of sin. They give us the weapons and knowledge to overcome it.
The last and most difficult revolution will be the internal revolution of our heart and conscience. It will carry us from injustice, corruption and selfishness to an attitude of love and service to others as the supreme value.
As Rev. Sun Myung Moon prophesied:
"I can foresee a great change, a revolution coming to the world, not by fire or bullets, but by the truth of God kindling men's hearts. I have come to ignite this spiritual revolution, a quiet revolution that changes man from selfishness to unselfishness."
Sun Myung Moon, in his inaugural address to the Federation for World Peace in August 1991, in Seoul, Korea, in front of presidents and dignitaries of many countries, proclaimed:
"The twenty-first century shall be a righteous century. In the twenty-first century wealth will not be the dominating factor. Instead, the human soul and spirit shall be predominant. The twenty-first century shall be the era of unity between God and man. It shall be the era when a new awakening will come to every person, a realization that we shall benefit more when we genuinely live for the sake of others. In the twenty-first century selfishness will decline. Life, honor and glory based on unselfishness shall be triumphant. These are the characteristics of the coming twenty-first century. The era for peace is approaching. And much more, the opportunity for the realization of the Kingdom of Heaven on earth will be at hand. The twenty-first century shall be a hopeful and glorious century."
The Bible speaks of "the last days" and of the "end of the world." If history had begun in goodness, it would not be necessary to end. But because history began with evil, the last days have to come about in which evil will be finally eradicated and an end will come to the world of vice and sin. It will be the time to which the Holy Scriptures refers to as that "of beating our swords into ploughshares". In other words, a time of transition when "hell" will be transformed into the "Kingdom of Heaven."
There will not be a literal destruction of the universe through catastrophes, as some Christians have maintained. The last days will be a time of happiness when mankind's greatest hope, firmly maintained throughout history, will finally be realized.
THE FIGHT BETWEEN THE MIND AND THE BODY
In order to win this final battle of history and be victorious in subduing and eradicating evil within ourselves, it is necessary to clearly recognize our weakness, selfishness and fallen nature.
Just as Satan controlled the first human ancestors through their physical desires, he continues to control us through our selfish physical desires.
The fall, which came about through false love, created a discord between unselfish direction of the mind and selfish misdirected physical desires. This resulted in disunion and struggles in our vertical relationships - with God, our parents, our juniors, our students - and also in our horizontal relationships - with our spouse, our companions, our friends, our colleagues, etc. These relationships, instead of being characterized by genuine love, became frequently distorted because of the confusion that exists within ourselves, between the desire of the mind to serve others and the physical desires to satisfy oneself.
Originally, the mind and body were supposed to be united and unable to separate. The human mind represents the mind of God. The human body is the recipient that accommodates the mind, it is the place where the mind dwells. The separation between these two occurred at the time of the Fall and caused the human body to come under the domain of Satan and selfishness.
Our physical body is important, mainly to support our spiritual growth. On its own, the body only seeks for its own comfort and well-being. That is why evil always seeks to mobilize our body in order to dominate and nullify the desires of our mind. In the beginning illicit sexual love gives us the illusion and feeling of unity and happiness as if it is true love. Money, power and fame can also give us the illusion of fulfilling our internal desires through external means. We often do wrong things only in order to satisfy our own desires and physical necessities, even at the cost of harming others.
On the other hand, in our mind, the human conscience became the agent of God. The conscience does not exist for our own benefit. It is implanted so we can act with righteousness. It always seeks goodness and follows the altruistic way. But the body often rebels against the conscience. The body only seeks its own comfort and is inclined to act selfishly, carrying out its carnal desires. The conscience, on the other hand, deals with correcting the body and subjugating it in the direction of the mind. For that reason, it is inevitable that we experience conflict and internal struggles within ourselves.
God exercises His influence in order to stimulate our mind through our spiritual desire. Our spiritual desire searches for true satisfaction through good and responsible activities. We are happy making others happy first.
Our body, however, is often attracted to alternative ways and seeks to go in another direction. When something important is to be done, the body asks for rest, food or drink and the person who is not strong or spiritually developed will say: "I want to do these things and I should do them", but the one who is truly wise will say: "This entity with its desires is not the real "I" and must wait." Often when the opportunity to help someone appears, the body says: "Why bother? It is better if someone else does it instead of me," but we should respond to our body: "You will not prevent me from doing a good deed."
The body is in our service, the horse on which we ride. Consequently, we should treat it well and look after it, we should feed it properly and keep it clean. Without a healthy and clean body we cannot carry out the arduous tasks which will allow us to reach spiritual perfection. But, we should always be the one who dominates our body and not let the body dominate us.
In a way, our worst enemy is our own body. We should firmly establish this principle: "I must dominate myself first before I have dominion over anything else." If I am controlled by my circumstances, it means that my body is controlling my mind. But if I can maintain my position and mental state, irrespective of where I go or how difficult the circumstances, it means that my mind controls my body.
The clash of mind and body within ourselves represents the war between good and evil.
The mind must have the internal strength and the necessary spiritual power of self-control to overcome the desire for food, sleep and sex, which are the three most basic desires of our body.
That is why the traditional religions of the world, unanimously, teach the principle of corporal discipline through fasting, prayer, sexual abstinence, etc. - doing things that the body does not desire to do. Religion is the training ground where the unruly desires of the body are controlled, steering the body in accordance with the will of the mind. A true religion emphasizes self-denial, self-control, discipline and teaches to live sacrificially for others. There has never been any great religion in history that emphasized selfishness or self-centeredness. Religious people who lived in convents and monasteries submitted themselves to an ascetic life of strict discipline.
We see that Buddhist monks often sit down to meditate for years and years, trying to remove from themselves all physical desires, to the point of emptiness. By doing that, they want to find the ideal standard of human character. Their entire effort could be described in a single phrase: They deny the small selfish "I" in order to find the true internal self. This is their purpose.
However, no one is capable of completely controlling the body without uniting internally with God. Only when our mind is united with the power of God's love and truth can we use our bodies correctly. The mind has to be in the subject position and the body in the object position in relation to the mind. The love of God and His truth has the power of harmoniously uniting them together. Such a person of unity is described in religious terms as a saint. That is why religion has been God's instrument to guide and restore man to His original ideal.
Originally, God made us with the capacity to live in happiness. We were created to be intoxicated not by drugs but by the love of God. Since we lost this original capacity, we have been searching for unnatural and artificial means of intoxication such as alcohol or drugs. However, man and woman were created to intoxicate each other with love centered on God. There is nothing that surpasses this feeling of joy and happiness. Each cell of our body will explode with delight. The eyes, ears, all the tissues of the face, the arms and legs will be reborn to live in a rapture of happiness.
Once people discover the way to be intoxicated with true love centered on God, even if they are pushed to use drugs, alcohol, etc., they will refuse them. It will seem worthless in comparison. Once men and women grow to perfection and are united with God's True Love, no power under the sun can break that. It would be impossible for men and women to be unfaithful to one another. The mind would be completely in control. If your discipline is such that your conscience wins over the dictates of your body, including the temptation of illicit love, then you shall win a ticket to heaven.OUR ORIGINAL NATURE AND OUR FALLEN NATURE
The famous scientist and spiritualist of the 18th century, Emanuel Swedenborg visited and explored the spiritual world for nearly 30 years. Once he was thinking about heaven and hell and he wrote this answer given to him by teachers there:
"There are three basic facts about hell, but they are just the opposite of the facts about heaven. The basic facts of hell are three loves -- the love of ruling due to self-love, the love of having what belongs to others due to love of the world, and the love of fornication."
"The basic facts of heaven are the three loves opposite to these -- the love of ruling due to a love of being useful, the love of having worldly goods due to a love of putting them to good use, and real married love"
As we can see, heaven and hell begins with me, with our loves and attitudes. Consequently, it is everyone's responsibility to really recover and maintain the proper attitude over the four original and God-given desires to fulfill the purpose of our lives.
These four original desires are:
1. The desire for sexual love. The proper way to fulfill this desire is to keep the basic law of the cosmos, which was given already in the very beginning with the symbolic expression "do not eat". This means abstinence before marriage and to maintain absolute fidelity and love to our spouse after marriage, accomplishing the ideal of an eternal love and a family that will give us the greatest peace and happiness forever.
On the contrary, the misuse of this natural desire brings about a love for variety or free sex, in other words, love of fornication and adultery, that is opposed to a real married love. In the end, people involved in this type of love never find permanent satisfaction, and it inevitably leads them to unhappiness.
2. The desire for material things (love of having worldly goods). There is nothing wrong with our wish to own things, to be rich, wealthy and prosperous, to be a millionaire, to have money, land and property.
All of these aspirations are related to the desire to exercise a true and loving dominion over the environment that will enable us to be the true lords or caretakers of the creation. But what is the proper attitude to realize these desires? If everything we possess is used correctly for the benefit and service of others, bringing joy and happiness to everyone and harmony to the environment, that is perfectly fine. On the other hand, if we hold possessions only for our own personal interests and self-gratification, that is unprincipled and in the end it will bring neither joy or lasting prosperity.
3. The desire for authority (love of ruling). Everyone wishes to be a king or queen. This is a natural and original desire because of our position and dignity as children of God. The proper way to exercise this desire is to become a true leader. A true leader is the one who delights in being useful and sincerely serves and loves others the most. Therefore, such a person is naturally appreciated and everyone will gladly give him or her that recognition, power and position.
Value and Position. When we have true internal value in ourselves and the external qualifications, soon or later, position will be given to us even if we do not seek for any appointment. On the contrary, when someone cherishes a position for his or her own benefit or self- glory, and obviously lacks moral value, in the long run such person will lose that position.
4. The desire for self-perfection. This is an original desire or ambition that will always motivate us to reach our potential as children of God.
We all have this desire to be good and successful. We like to gain knowledge and develop skills. We want to achieve excellency in the things we do. We like to be recognized, to be admired and be famous. We wish to become great performers, artists, scientists, lecturers, sports champions, inventors, philanthropists, etc.
As mentioned above, the proper attitude to realize all these aspirations is to use all our achievements for the good and happiness of others. If not, our desire, ambition and hope centered only on ourselves will develop into greed. The exercise of freedom without the divine law generates permissiveness and licentiousness. The wrong use of love becomes lust. When we do not live centered on God our natural pride of being a child of God becomes vanity and arrogance. If not used properly to help others, our talents and creativity are often turned into maliciousness.
There is not one basic desire or element in the human character that is essentially evil. Good and evil are a matter of direction. When our original desires are misdirected, it results in our "fallen nature", basically selfishness. For this reason, the root of our wrong conduct is the reversal of the main forces for goodness.
According to the Divine Principle we have two purposes: The purpose for the whole that directs us to live unselfishly for others and the individual purpose that urges us to pursue our own well-being. We were created with a good original nature that maintains those two purposes in harmony. However, as a result of the fall, our desires tend to go in a selfish direction generating what we call the "fallen nature". Fallen nature pushes us to put priority on the individual purpose rather than the purpose for the whole. Selfishness is so common that we almost do not recognize it.
Selfishness does not refer to the natural desire of self- improvement that each person has. We have a natural ambition to ensure our well-being and a desire to reach the highest values. This is not selfishness. These are qualities of our original nature, given by God. Selfishness refers to the erroneous and misdirected use of our desires and ambitions. This misdirection results in greed, envy and vanity, the actions that constitute poison for our spiritual life.
Selfishness is a perversion of our original nature. Life presents to us an endless series of choices, and by being blind towards spiritual reality we make erroneous decisions.
Selfishness can be compared with the attitude of a person who, without enough information, decides to purchase something in the market. Later, having received more information, it is realized that an incorrect decision was made. Similarly, those who live a selfish life while on earth will feel frustrated after they die, realizing their wrong decisions.
We have the desire to do what is good but, we do not do it. Instead, we do evil that we do not desire. From these conflicts inside ourselves appear the conflicts in the world. We can compare man to a cup with a hole in it. The purpose of the cup is to contain liquid, but the liquid flows out at the other end. It is essential to seal that hole by overcoming and eliminating our fallen nature which continues to multiply through the misuse of love.
Having caused the fall, Satan extended his power and strengthened his control over humanity. Although Satan was the cause of this situation, he has been accusing men and women of violating the heavenly law, starting with our first ancestors. Satan's goal has always been to separate us from God and keep us in spiritual ignorance regarding our true value and position as God's children.
Satan does this in two ways. Firstly, he constantly accuses us of disobeying the commandments and laws of our Creator. Secondly, he tempts and seduces us to act in such a way that we prove that his accusations are valid. Satan manipulates our vulnerability to sin. He exploits our weakness, ambition, pride, passion and egocentricity. While we think we are expressing our own desires, we are actually simply doing what Satan really wants us to do. We are not mere slaves of an alien master but are his willing subjects. His influence is entirely spiritual. Because our spiritual perception deteriorated, we do not easily recognize Satan's negative influence.
Like a powerful invisible mafia boss whose illegal activities are done through other people, Satan never appears to us openly. He works anonymously and incognito. Satan works through our own "fallen nature".
We can recognize four fundamental tendencies in our "fallen nature":
1. Our inability to love and see from God's point of view, resulting in a selfish attitude.
The main reason for the archangel's fall was his inability to love Adam and Eve from God's point of view. Instead, he took his own direction and developed envy and jealousy towards them.
We find selfishness at the core of fallen nature. It is characterized by the tendency of always taking a critical attitude towards others, focusing on our partial and self-centered viewpoint.
Instead of appreciating others we try to compare ourselves with them and develop envy and jealousy. Students may feel jealous of other students who seem to be the favorite of the teacher. In the workplace people may feel jealous of their colleagues who are promoted because of their excellent work. Instead of finding value in others, we are very often rather delighted to find something bad in others so as to make us appear and feel better.
The failure to see things from God's point of view, moves us gradually away from the truth and leads us, step by step, to believe in the untrue, to distrust everyone, to be judgmental and have a rebellious attitude. The first error of Adam and Eve was not to believe the words of God, and instead believe the false words of the archangel, which finally drove them to disobey God's commandment.
2. Abandoning our position of responsibility.
The archangel did not appreciate the value of his position given by God. Instead of finding satisfaction in fulfilling his responsibility, he hoped to find it in taking the role of Adam and in even usurping God's own position.
Similarly, it is very easy for us to abandon our position of responsibility. We escape from our responsibilities to search for the easy way out. When something goes wrong we complain. We have the tendency to accuse and blame others for our own errors or misfortunes.
The most serious consequence of this fallen nature is the desire for a complete experience of love before we are mature in heart. There is a tendency of using others to experience momentary sexual pleasure. The sin of fornication and adultery is always related to an abandoning of our own position.
3. The reversal of dominion or order of authority.
Human beings were supposed to be the natural leaders of the archangel. Lucifer, however, refused to submit to Adam and Eve but tyrannized them instead. Without the qualification of heart, he could only become a false leader maintaining control through deceit, lies and fear.
Like Lucifer, fallen people often become arrogant and do not follow the person who is better qualified than ourselves. Instead of influencing others with love and truth, we try to take control of others by means of force and deception. This is the root of exploitation.
One of the most serious aspects of fallen nature is the tendency to try to dominate others.
We think that we are better than others because of our position, intelligence, race or nationality. Another example of this reversal of dominion, as already mentioned, is the dominion of our carnal desire over our conscience.
Because of fallen nature, leaders are trying to get power through methods such as coercion, force and deceit. The twentieth century has witnessed big examples of this problem. Because of our bad experience with leaders, we tend to distrust anyone in a position of leadership. Envy, arrogance, hate, aggressiveness, violence and murder are always related to this aspect of fallen nature.
To liberate ourselves from this attitude we must love others truly and unconditionally. We must know how to forgive and serve even our enemies until they are naturally won over by our good heart.
4. The multiplication of evil and the tendency of self- justification.
In the same way as the archangel multiplied or passed false love to Eve and then from Eve to Adam, we also try to pass on our bad habits and wrong behavior to others.
We try to involve others in our wrong conduct. As more and more people accept vice and sin, it seems to be less false. The result of all of this is the loss of absolute values. Everything seems to rely on the view of the majority rather than on principle. The increased social acceptance of immorality seems to make us feel less guilty. Due to the multiplication of evil, we lost the standard of good and evil. Sometimes we are unsure of what is right or wrong and this causes great confusion.
There are two particular consequences to this insensitivity and they allow evil to continue. One is the desperation or lack of hope which leads us to believe that there is no way of transforming this world into a place of goodness. The other is the irresponsibility which makes us believe that evil is only a natural element in our world and will disappear by itself.
It is important to recognize all these elements of our fallen nature so that we can successfully overcome and conquer the wrong within ourselves. POSSIBLE CRITICISM OF THIS VISION
Having been confronted with this new explanation about the origin of evil and immorality, it is perhaps possible that some readers may feel skeptical. One could ask: who could know all these details of the behavior and motivations of Adam, Eve and the Archangel? Most people probably consider these descriptions as pure fabrication of an ancient myth and doubt the historicity of these events.
This reaction is perfectly natural, especially from the viewpoint of atheists and agnostics. It is also to be expected in the case of people who lack a firm religious belief and doubt the existence of life after death, thus maintaining a materialistic interpretation of the origin of life.
A materialistic, agnostic or radically atheist point of view must not be used, however, as an excuse to reject the valuable moral teachings arise by this interpretation, nor to serve as an rational justification for immorality or wrong behavior. We could therefore speak of two types of atheists. One which insist: "there is not God, neither life after our physical death, so that I can do as I please here in this world." And the other that reasons: "Because God doesn't exist, I have to be responsible for this world and do all those good things that God was suppose to do if He had existed." Those who determine to become this type of responsible atheists, loving and serving others unconditionally and avoid illicit love, very soon will discover the Divine in themselves. The historic root of evil, as we have previously exposed, does not originate in atheism, but rather in a selfish and irresponsible attitude.
For people of faith confronted with this new idea, our advice would be one of caution, prudence and a call for serious reflection in the face of the challenge that new discoveries always bring. It takes a tremendous effort, humility, tolerance and a great mental openness to change our previous concepts or to consider new approaches without committing ourselves to make quick prejudgments until we have done our own in- depth investigations.
Through intense and sincere prayer one could receive answers. Another possible method is through a direct search in the spirit world. Obviously, that is where the best archives and answers will be found. Because there we can find the total and complete records of all past history. There we would find the men and women as well as the angels who played a key role in the events that occurred in the past.
These discoveries are a revelation obtained by Rev. Sun Myung Moon, based on enormous and intense efforts following the above-mentioned methods.
For those who consider the story of Genesis in the Bible as pure mythology, it is very likely that they will perceive these new revelations as fiction.
However, even assuming that all these revelations were interpreted in that way and this message was to be taken as purely symbolic or mythical, we can never dismiss, renounce or forsake the ethical and moral value of what is proclaimed here, as a valuable guide towards virtue, for the following reasons:
1. This approach, without any doubt, offers a powerful affirmation and defense for monogamy in marriage, for the family, for true love and for all the values necessary to maintain a sound society.
2. It introduces an excellent explanation of the fundamental reasons why we should avoid free sex, adultery and infidelity, and provides us with the best possible protection and solutions.
In the face of the increasing AIDS epidemic which, unfortunately due to the erroneous approaches taken until now, will plunge whole nations into a crisis of catastrophic proportions, we can recognize that only purity and fidelity are the best acceptable antidotes.
3. It reveals to us with clarity and accuracy the reasons and motives why man became separated from God.
4. It warns about the absolute and sacred power of love, as the source of happiness or tragedy.
5. This explanation reveals, psychologically, a great deal about ourselves, our attitudes and tendencies. It is consistent with the well-known patterns of behavior constantly repeated throughout human history.
6. It provides us with a valuable guide and advice to overcome our selfishness and fallen nature.
7. It offers very plausible answers about the historic origin of selfishness, shame, envy, illicit love, immorality, family disintegration and breakdown and all the resulting problems and vices that create human alienation.
There are those of us who will believe in this interpretation and feel inspired and grateful for the benefit that it brings to our spiritual life.
What only remains to be said at this point, is that we sincerely expect from all those who do not share the same opinion that they will accept the challenge to offer a better answer to the questions and problems presented here.CIRCUMCISION, CELIBACY AND THE SACRAMENT OF MARRIAGE
The Divine Principle coincides with St. Irenaeus in observing that the work of redemption follows exactly the same stages of man's fall. For each false step done by man, seduced by Satan, God demands a compensation, so that our victory over the seducer will be complete.
The knowledge and insight of what really happened in the beginning allow us to understand better certain religious practices such as circumcision, celibacy and the sacrament of marriage.
According to Genesis, Abraham initiated the ceremonial act of circumcision, as a visible sign of the covenant binding the children of Israel to their God. Humans fell by the misuse of the sexual parts and as restitution for that act, the boy's foreskin was cut. Cutting off the skin of the sexual organ could be said to indicate our determination to cut our attachment to Satan and the false sexual love that he taught.
These revelations about the fall have great merit because they show exactly how sin is rooted in man's biological structure.
As we know, the fall occurred through sexual love. For this reason, all the world religions have considered fornication and adultery to be among the worst sins.
In a way, and putting aside some of the details of his theories, Sigmund Freud correctly traced human neurosis to uncontrolled and un-sublimated sexual desire. The early church fathers had already connected the original sin with the sin of concupiscence.
It is meaningful to notice that in many cases these leaders demanded from priests a life of sexual abstinence and celibacy, as a way of purification and sanctity. This permitted the establishing of a good standard and was an example of discipline and self-control to strengthen their followers.
No one could ignore the praise that Jesus Christ and the Apostle Paul gave to the practice of religious celibacy for those very exceptional men and women with the determination to follow this path (Mt. 19:12, I Cor. 7).
Let us examine for a moment the case of Mother Ann Lee Stanley, who officially founded the celibate Shakers. While being imprisoned in 1770 in Manchester, England, she had a vision of Jesus Christ in which he graphically showed her that, in respect to the original sin, the sexual act was the true act of transgression committed by the first man and woman in the Garden of Eden. After this surprising experience, she and her followers settled down in celibate communities in which they lived together as brothers and sisters.
Many of those who have the vocation to live a life of celibacy, in a way, feel intuitively that they should go the way of restoration as brothers and sisters, waiting for the absolute permission from God to establish a sacred and divine marriage, that could only be bestowed at some time in the future. So, they chose to "marry" spiritually with the Lord and His work.
In the process of restoration vertical love has to be upheld and horizontal love must be denied, because human history started with illicit horizontal love. Now we can understand why the most prominent religions always emphasized individual denial. In attempting to deny everything in the human world, religious people led ascetic, isolated lives, searching for the lost vertical original true love, trying to overcome sexual temptations and remain on the side of God. Such emphasis on religious celibacy occurred because they had to resist the temptation of worldly love to reach later the vertical love of God.
This clarifies the inner reason why religions like Hinduism, Buddhism and many forms of Christianity taught that, for those who truly seek the divine, the most straight and sublime path requires sexual abstinence.
In the Catholic Church for example, priests, monks and nuns maintain vows of permanent celibacy as the best spiritual path for their personal salvation, and to minister to other people.
If Jesus Christ did not get married, it is natural that their faithful followers should not be different from their Teacher in that regard.
Under this prospect, marriage was considered by some early church fathers as recommendable and good, but, at the same time, as a secondary or an alternative way for those unable to follow the difficult path of abstinence. The Apostle Paul wrote: "But if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to be aflame with passion." (1 Cor. 7:9).
All of this implies a certain admission that the sacrament of marriage has not yet the full blessing and sanctification from God.
Unfortunately, Jesus Christ could leave for posterity only a model of individual perfection. He never married, nor established a real family model, for all his disciples to imitate and follow. The ignorance of the people in recognizing him as the Messiah provoked rejection and subsequent crucifixion, preventing the restoration of a true couple and family, to supplant the false family model inherited from the fall.
The Christian family, as a monogamous and stable couple, was of course the appropriate and natural structure for the children, as well as the best way to avoid immorality and promiscuity. But this does not represent a complete model of the restored ideal family that was lost with the fall. This is demonstrated by the fact that Christian theologians cannot deny that even the most devout Christian couples still transmit the original sin to their descendants.
Until the present time, for the majority of Christian churches the bond of the sacrament of marriage has a temporal and conditional validity: "Until death do us part." However, we all have an eternal and indestructible spirit given by God. In the ideal world that God wants to see established, death only represents the separation from our physical body that decomposes, but that fact in no way separates or divorces us from our spouse, children or people whom we love and with whom we will finally meet in the Spirit World.
For all these reasons, it is obvious that the union of man and woman, carried out at the standard or level previously described, is still not the type of heavenly and eternal marriage that God had wanted to see originally, had the fall never occurred.
As will be explained later, we are still waiting for the eternal and true blessing of God for the establishment of a heavenly marriage that restores us to our lost original position.
THE ORIGINAL SIN AFFECTS OUR LINEAGE
Love is the origin of life. The false love experienced by our first ancestors transmitted life to their descendants and affected our lineage very deeply.
In the Bible we read a truly astonishing and revealing comment by Jesus Christ: "They [the Pharisees] said to him: 'We are not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God'. Jesus said to them, 'If God were your Father, you would love me, for I proceeded and came forth from God... You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father's desires" (Jn. 8:41-48).
Jesus clearly declared that our father is not God, that our father is the Devil, who has been a murderer and liar from the beginning. Is this not a shocking declaration?
Jesus as well as John the Baptist on some occasions referred to people as a "brood of vipers", making allusion to our false lineage (Lk. 3:7, Mt. 12:34 and Mt. 23:33).
Therefore, the original sin is a sin that affects the lineage and has been transferred from generation to generation. We are born of satanic lineage as the descendants of satanic love.
From the moment our life is conceived in the mother's womb, that life indirectly has a connection with the love that Satan instead of God taught in the beginning. Many early church fathers understood that the original sin was transmitted from the first couple to all descendants through the act of sexual love of our progenitors. Figuratively speaking, it is almost as if a kind of spiritual virus has been passed on from generation to generation.
We cannot be blamed personally for what happened in the beginning of our history. Nevertheless, whether we are conscious or ignorant of it, whether we like it or not, the fact remains that we inherited this lineage originated by our first ancestors. All of us, in a way, have to lament as the author of Psalm 51:7. "Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me".
This tragedy came to the world by the Devil, the fallen archangel, who initiated man's sexual love instead of God. And that is why Jesus Christ called him our father. We have fallen under the satanic sovereignty, because Satan became the false father and the owner of this world.
It is clear by now that the original sin is the sin of the fall and that we received these satanic elements or tendencies from generation to generation. Because of the nature of this crime or original sin, its liquidation has been an extremely difficult task.
The original sin committed by our ancestors is like the contamination of the root of the tree of humanity.
Starting from that sin, humanity has been constantly violating heavenly law, generating a sinful tradition. The repercussions of these sins by our ancestors are inherited by the descendants for restitution. We also need to consider the collective sins committed by a particular group which later affects the nation, race or even the whole of humanity. Finally we have our own personal sins.
To a limited degree, it is possible to cleanse and restore our personal and inherited sins. We do so through efforts such as admitting faults, repenting, requesting forgiveness and paying compensation. However, to eliminate the original sin, connected to the entire human lineage, is beyond our capacity. This is why, humanity needs a savior.
Only the one who finally discovered what Satan did to the first human couple and their descendants can remove the original sin and restore us again to the divine lineage with the power and the authority of God. The original sin was the first to be committed and will also be the last to be eliminated.
Once our original sin is forgiven and eliminated, it will be much easier to establish a future world free of sin. A world in which each person, with the power and inspiration of God, will be able to overcome evil and where Satan will never be able to operate and accuse man.
The desire for illicit love is deeply ingrained in the human heart. Sexual sin and the sin of illicit love are very difficult to overcome. However, our restoration can never be possible or fulfilled unless each man can withstand the temptation of a naked beautiful woman in the same bed with him.
Jesus Christ requested from us a very high standard of purity: "You have heard that it was said, 'You shall not commit adultery.' But I say to you that every one who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart." (Mt. 5:27-28).
Immoral acts are always committed secretly and in a free society there is almost no way to prevent them, except to elevate our heart and conscience. Simple laws, punishments or other acceptable external methods, prove, so much now as in the past, to be ineffective to control them. As human beings can not live without experiencing love, if we are not able to live by the laws of true love is evident that the alternative is illicit love.
People should be clearly informed of the terrible consequences that this kind of immoral behavior causes to our eternal life. Our virginity, which represents our first and true love, is the most valuable and holy possession that no amount of money can possibly buy. Once it is lost, it is irrecoverable. Once we are aware of this fact, it is a real tragedy to give away such a priceless possession in an idle moment of passion or lust. Such an action can have devastating consequences for those involved, and for their future attitudes and behavior.
Even religious leaders, who inspired many with their faith and carried out great accomplishments, often succumb to such temptations.
There are those who think that these weaknesses are rather natural and part of our intrinsic human nature. They feel that it is useless to try and change ourselves.
However, Jesus Christ clearly pointed out that in the context of love, human perfection is possible: "You, therefore, must be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect." (Mat. 5:48).
Paradoxically, our path to perfection implies, on the one hand, to grow to and attain true love. It also means living sacrificially for the sake of others, including our enemies, even at the cost of life itself. And, on the other hand, to abstain from loving in the wrong way, avoiding illicit sexual love. In short, we are called to love from God's viewpoint and refuse the forbidden love.
The efforts to avoid and overcome these problems that have traditionally been carried out by self-discipline or permanent celibacy are commendable and worthy of admiration. But, unfortunately, they do not represent either a full eradication of sin, nor do they constitute a realistic and complete solution to the problem.
How then, will we finally be able to resolve this difficult situation? It is obvious, that the only antidote or lasting solution would be the experience of true, eternal and unchangeable love within a marriage recognized and blessed by God.
Pure and true love is the irreplaceable medicine to cure both, the lack of love and tainted love. To draw an analogy, when we satisfy ourselves with good food, we automatically abandon the desire for poor quality food or the necessity to fast.
Light drives darkness away and only the authentic love will quiet the desire for any substitute that we may have had.
That is why only the achievement of divine love between man and woman will ensure our success in totally eradicating the desire for ungodly love. This would eliminate infidelity, adultery, divorce, prostitution, rape and other deviations in human conduct.
To resolve this problem, humanity has to receive new ancestors, who can be substituted for Adam and Eve, the fallen parents. These new ancestors, in the position of True Parents, represent the love of God and God's lineage. They will separate us from the false lineage. They will eliminate the original sin in each man and woman. They will engraft us into the true lineage of God and will transmit to us the blessing to establish a sacred and eternal marriage recognized by God.
True families, living according to heavenly tradition, will multiply, gradually creating a foundation to build the dreamed of and long-awaited utopia of a better world.
In this way, God's and humanity's anxiously desired ideal, lost by the fall, will be restored.