Since the beginning of history, many scholars have advocated various kinds of theories of education, each with its own image of the ideally-educated person. The Unification Theory of Education also has an image of the ideally-educated person. In the Unification Theory of Education this image is as follows: first of all, a person of character; second, a good citizen; and third, a genius. These are the images of an ideal man and woman corresponding, respectively, to the education of heart, the education of norm, and the education of dominion. Therefore, when education is seen in terms of the image of the ideally-educated person, the education of heart may be called an education to develop a person of character; the education of norm may be called an education to develop a good citizen; and the education of dominion may be called an education to develop a genius.
A Person of Character
The image of the person ideally educated concerning heart is a person of character. Accordingly, the education of heart is an education necessary for guiding children so that they may experience and practice God’s love, and become persons of excellent character. Heart is the source of love, and it is the core of one’s personality. Those who are lacking in heart―regardless of how much knowledge they may have, or how strong their physical power may be, or how much political or economic power they may have―will never be persons of character. From a secular perspective, a person with a certain degree of virtue, knowledge, and health is often considered to be a person of character, but in Unification Thought, a person of character is one who has internalized God’s Heart and who practices love.
What, then, is an ideal person of character? A person of character is someone who has perfected his or her personality, having developed the faculties of intellect, emotion, and will in a balanced manner on the basis of heart (love). A person of character lives, above all, experiencing God’s Heart; therefore, such a person always makes efforts to practice true love towards all people and all things. A person of character, with a sincere heart of loyalty, always seeks to console God for His sorrow and pains; this person, in tears, will forgive God’s enemies with Divine love, even though he or she may feel public indignation against them. A person of character always practices vertical and horizontal values with a meek and humble mind, and with a warm heart. Since this person embodies both law and love, in practice he or she is most tender toward others and most strict toward himself or herself: love and law are united in his or her life. Love without law can make children weak and law without love may merely give them a sense of cold restriction. In sum, a person of character is able to practice God’s true love towards all people and all things.
A Good Citizen
The image of the person ideally educated concerning norm is a “good citizen,” a good citizen with a good personality. An education of norm may be given in schools, but its basis must be in the family. Since the family represents a miniature of the order of the universe, it can rightfully be said that the society, nation, and world are expansions of the system of order in a family. Therefore, a person who has received and internalized a good standard of education of norm in his or her family can easily observe norms in the greater society, nation, and world as well. As a result, that person becomes a good member of his or her family, a good member of their society, a good member of their nation, and a good member of the world. In other words, if one can become a good member of his or her family through an education of norm, one can naturally behave properly in conformity with the norms of their society, nation, and world.
Furthermore, a person who has lived as a good citizen on earth will naturally become a good spirit person in the spirit world as well. Leading a good life both on earth and in the spirit world, such a person can be called a good member of the cosmos. Cosmos here refers to the combination of the physical world and the spirit world. Living as a good citizen in the family, society, world, and cosmos is the same as living as a good citizen in the Kingdom of Heaven.
The image of the person ideally educated concerning dominion is a “genius,” which here means a person with rich and profound creativity. Originally everyone has the talent of genius, since human beings were originally created to become beings with creativity, inheriting God’s creativity. As a matter of fact, the Chinese characters for “genius” indicate a person with talent which is given by Heaven. Creativity is given to a person at birth as an endowed potential. Therefore, all people have the potential to become a genius once they manifest their creativity one hundred percent. In order to actualize such creativity, however, a proper education is necessary. The kind of education necessary for this purpose is an education of dominion.
As mentioned above, an education of dominion should be based on the foundation of both an education of heart and an education of norm. In other words, an education of dominion must be carried out as one component of a balanced education; only then can true creativity be fully manifested. If an education of heart and an education of norm are insufficient or lacking, one’s creativity can not be fully manifested. For instance, suppose there is a child with unusual musical potential who is trying to learn to play the piano. If the parents of that child are always quarreling with each other, or often strike or abuse the child, then the child will go to school with a wounded heart. In this case, when playing the piano, the child will not be able to move his or her hands smoothly, because of his or her disturbed emotions. Even though the child may have superior creative potential, the development of that creativity will be hindered due to the discord in his or her family environment.
Since human beings have been given individuality, each person’s creativity, likewise, has unique characteristics. Some people are endowed with musical creativity; others, with mathematical creativity; someone else may have political creativity, while others have business creativity. If the creativity one possesses is fully manifested, that person may become a musical genius, a mathematical genius, a political genius, or a business genius. This is to say, based upon one’s individuality, each person can become a unique genius.
Due to the fallen environment, however, people have become unable to manifest their God-given creativity to the fullest extent, and it has become very difficult for them to develop into geniuses. In fact, there may be only one person out of tens of thousands who can reach the level of a genius, while all the rest remain in mediocrity. That is the reality of an education of dominion in this fallen society.
Moreover, we should realize that cooperation from the spirit world is also involved in the education leading to one’s becoming a genius. When a well-balanced education is provided, on the basis of a God-centered family, many good spirits can provide spiritual assistance and, as a result, children’s God-given talents can develop rapidly.