During the decade of the 1990s the world underwent great and unprecedented changes. An attempted coup by the conservative wing of the Soviet Communist Party provided the momentum for the astonishing series of events that culminated in the demise of the Soviet empire ― the powerful empire that had, for the better part of the twentieth century, shaken the world under the slogan of global communization.
In the wake of the flurry of events that witnessed the disintegration of the Communist bloc, the President of Russia, Mr. Boris Yeltsin, visited the United States and declared, to a joint session of the Senate and the House, that Communism had died and would never again be allowed to revive in his country.
Yet, the republics that comprised the former Soviet Union, freed from the shackles of Communism, are now at a loss as to where to go and have not yet recovered from social chaos and economic bankruptcy. Meanwhile, in China, and in other nations which still hold to Communism as their national policy, a contradiction persists between their endeavor to attain economic reform under an open-door policy and their adherence to the socialist system and to Communist dictatorship.
In the meantime, the situation has not fared much better in democratic countries. The United States, still the champion of the democratic world, for a brief moment basked in the glory of winning the Gulf War. But the glitter of that victory has quickly been dimmed by the staggering red ink of the U.S. economy and, as time goes on, the stature of the United States as a respected global leader is slowly declining.
Now that the ideal of Communism has faded, and there exists no strong leadership in democracy, the conflicts deriving from the opposition between nations and religions, and from economic friction, are erupting throughout the world, casting ominous shadows over the future of humankind. This situation is being further aggravated by the tragic spread of AIDS and by a losing battle against poverty and starvation in developing countries.
In such a state of disorder and unrest, the world is now earnestly seeking for new vision and new leadership to guide humankind. In such a situation, the Unification Movement, motivated by the Rev. Moon, is offering what seems to be the brightest light of hope in sight.
Unification Thought, which is the Rev. Moon’s thought and the perspective (thought system) of the Unification Movement, is also called Godism or HeadWing Thought. The term “Godism” indicates that this system of thought has God’s truth and love as its nucleus; and the term “Head-Wing Thought” indicates that this system of thought is neither a part of the right wing nor of the left wing, but rather embraces both.
Only Godism, or Head-Wing Thought, or Unification Thought ― with its spirit of promoting love for others from the perspective of a God-centered view of values ― can overcome the hatred, hostility, and materialism of Communism, the left-wing ideology, and eradicate the egoism and self-centeredness of democracy, the right-wing ideology. This will go far to reconcile these two opposing wings and can guide people on both sides to advance together toward the realization of an ideal world, a long-cherished desire of both God and humankind.
Moreover, Unification Thought is the thought of God, and holds to the purpose of reconciling warring nations and conflicting religions through the true love of God, the supreme center who is the origin of all religions. The purpose of Unification Thought is thus to achieve the goal of creating a global family and to realize the everlasting ideal world of God’s true love by solving ― fundamentally and once and for all ― all the numerous and difficult problems that afflict humankind. Therefore, no matter how difficult the problems may be, they can be resolved permanently and fundamentally once Unification Thought (Godism) is applied to them.
The author of the present text has been organizing, from a philosophical perspective, the teachings of the Rev. Moon. I, the author, experienced much suffering in my life and, like many people, have borne many of life’s problems. Since joining the Unification Church in 1956, I carefully studied the teachings of
the Rev. Moon and found in his teachings many astounding truths that could completely solve the problems of human life. The image of the Rev. Moon in my mind in those days was that he was a treasure house of truth and a fountain of thought. Once he started speaking, he could speak for hours and hours and, as if from a fountain, the water of his thought flowed out boundlessly. Many times I became completely intoxicated by the truth which filled his thought, and I would forget the passage of time. It was in this way that his words were so truly valuable and precious to me.
There is an old saying, that a bagful of gems can become a beautiful necklace if they are strung together on a thread; but if left as they are, they may easily get lost. Likewise, if the precious teachings of the Rev. Moon had been heard and then left as they were, part of each of those teachings might soon disappear from the realm of our memory, just like gems easily disappear if not strung together. I could not dispel such a fear. Moreover, I, who had suffered from many problems of human life and had been saved through these truths, wished to string them together into a necklace of truth and convey them to those who might also be suffering. This is why I undertook the task of organizing the large number of those teachings, as though I was organizing gems into a beautiful necklace.
In the meantime, I had an opportunity to participate in the Korea-Japan Professors’ Friendship seminar held in Japan in the summer of 1972 in accordance with the Rev. Moon’s instructions. During my stay in Japan, I presented lectures to the intellectual leaders of the Unification Movement in Japan, on some of the contents of the Rev. Moon’s philosophical thought which I had systemized by that time. Their response was unexpectedly supportive. Upon my return to Korea, I reported this to the Rev. Moon. In response, he instructed me to publish a book based on the contents of the lectures, to establish a Unification Thought Institute with five to seven sections, and to promote an ideological movement, while continuing to organize his teachings. So, I further systemized the Rev. Moon’s thought, and in 1973 published the first edition of Essentials of Unification Thought (in Korean) ― the title of which was handwritten in Chinese calligraphy by the Rev. Moon ― in the name of the Unification Thought Institute (The English translation of that first book was published under the title Unification Thought).
Since that time I have continued to systemize the Rev. Moon’s thought, and various Unification Thought books have been published. The present work includes the heartfelt teachings that have been imparted by the Rev. Moon since the early days of the Unification Church, arranged under his guidance. It is proper that the book is published not under the author’s name but under the name of the Unification Thought Institute, since the content of the book is entirely what the Rev. Moon has taught. This is similar to the case of the late President Hyo-Won Eu, of the Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity (Unification Church) of Korea, who published Divine Principle, the content of which came from the teachings of the Rev. Moon, not in Mr. Eu’s name, but in the name of the Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity.
It should be noted here that, first, the way of systematization developed in the book is not a product of Unification Thought itself, but rather the Rev. Moon’s thought itself is Unification Thought, and therefore, the systematization by the author is but one expression of the Rev. Moon’s thought; second, even though my intention was to accurately present the thought given by the Rev. Moon, it is always very difficult to ensure the absolute accuracy of expression, due to the limitations of my own ability. That is why the first edition contained so many points which were rather difficult to understand.
Since Unification Thought is the theoretical system of a profound thinker ― namely, the Rev. Sun Myung Moon ― it was felt necessary to make it available to scholars interested in philosophy.
Accordingly, copies of the book were sent to several international professors. Shortly after that, there was an unexpected response: Some professors pointed out that, publishing a book without the author’s name was an unfair and irresponsible attitude on the part of the author, because in doing so, he is evading responsibility for any controversies that might arise from the book.
Faced with such a criticism, I explained to the Rev. Moon that, since it was necessary to introduce his thought to world scholars, I felt compelled to publish future books in my own name, thus taking responsibility for any misinterpretations or mistaken wording. That is why the Japanese editions, and later the English editions (Explaining Unification Thought and Fundamentals of Unification Thought) were all published under my name.
Yet another unexpected result occurred: Quite a few scholars began to think that the content of those books was my own thought, even though I had clearly introduced it as the Rev. Moon’s. That misunderstanding caused me to feel deep grief. Recently, however, quite a few Unificationist scholars have qualified themselves as Unification Thought lecturers and now can cope with arguments concerning Unification Thought. In this context, it has now become unnecessary to place my name on the book.
Yet, it seems equally inappropriate to place the Rev. Moon’s name as the author. The reason is that, even though it is almost no longer necessary for me to bear responsibility for the wording of the book, the content of the book is but a part of the Rev. Moon’s thought. Furthermore, and I could hardly assume that this book is a perfect rendition of the Rev. Moon’s thought, I did not want even a
small portion of it to cause any harm to Heaven’s authority.
In organizing and systematizing Unification Thought, it is indispensable to make a comparison with the thoughts of other philosophers in various fields, in order to argue that Unification Thought is more complete than other, past, thoughts. Yet, I am not sure that this comparative effort has been done adequately or not.
Here I can sympathize with the predicament of the late President Eu, who likewise was unable to publish Divine Principle (1966) under the Rev. Moon’s name, even though it contained the Principles taught by the Rev. Moon. Thus, just as Divine Principle was published under the name of the Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity, likewise the books dealing with Unification Thought will, from now on, be published under the name of the Unification Thought Institute, whether in Korea or abroad, by permission of the Rev. Moon ― just as the first edition was.
The present work, New Essentials of Unification Thought, is the English translation of the Korean edition published in 1993, which is, per the Rev. Moon’s instructions, subtitled Head-Wing Thought. Also, this book is in fact the revised and enlarged edition of Essentials of Unification Thought (1992) published in English. Ever since the publication of the first Korean edition of Essentials of Unification Thought(1973), the Rev. Moon has continued to teach us more profound truths at every opportunity, and I have arranged his
teachings and included them in the present text. Therefore, the content of the present edition has incerased significantly, compared with previous editions.
Here, I would like to add another comment. I have introduced only the main points of certain traditional philosophies, those points which are relevant to each area of Unification Thought, in order to advocate the profound insights of Unification Thought. Some readers may have the impression that traditional philosophies are treated too simply. This is because the primary aim of this work is not to introduce these traditional philosophies, but to introduce Unification Thought, correctly and in the limited space of one book.
Unification Thought deals comprehensively with all areas of thought, and its way of arrangement, that is, the order in which the various areas unfold, is similar to the order of God’s creation of the universe. In other words, since Unification Thought begins with God as the starting point of creation, it deals first with the theory regarding God, who created the universe. Thus, the first chapter is the Theory of the Original Image, which deals with God, the fundamental cause of the universe. Next, since in the order of creation by God all things were created ahead of human beings, Ontology is addressed, as a theory concerning all things. After the creation of all things, human beings were created; therefore, the third area is the Theory of the Original Human Nature, which concerns the original human being.
After creating Adam, God brought beasts and birds to Adam (Gen. 2:19-20). Upon seeing them, Adam gave them names. This means that, while observing all things with interest, Adam engaged in cognition and thinking. Therefore, the fourth and fifth areas are Epistemology which is the theory of cognition, and Logic which is the theory of thinking.
Adam and Eve were to perfect the three great blessings. This means that they should have perfected their character in order to realize the world of the ideal of creation. The world of the ideal of creation is a world where such people of perfected character live with values centered on true love. Therefore, the sixth area is Axiology, or the theory of value.
If Adam and Eve had perfected themselves by fulfilling their portion of responsibility, they would have taught their children their experiences during their growing period, and their children would have matured, through a relatively light portion of responsibility, to perfect the first blessing. Thus, the perfected Adam and Eve would have educated their children. Therefore, the seventh area is the Theory of Education. Since the first blessing is followed by the second and the third blessings to comprise the three great blessings, the theory of education also deals with the educational aspects of the second and third blessings. When human beings mature, they marry and form a family, as was originally intended; therefore, the eighth area to be addressed is Ethics, which deals with norms within the family.
The next area concerns the human dominion over all things. The human being is to have dominion over all things, and all things are to return beauty to the human being. Accordingly, the ninth area is the Theory of Art. Since dominion implies not only dominion over nature but also over all the different kinds of human activities, under the concept of dominion are included economics, politics, society, culture, and so on. Though Unification Thought does not address politics and economics as such, it does address the historical changes in those areas. Accordingly, the tenth area to be addressed is the Theory of History.
There exist invariable laws consistently at work in all fields of human endeavor; and the theory dealing with these laws is Methodology, which is the eleventh area to be addressed. Because of its all-encompassing nature, methodology should have been placed right after the theory of the Original Image; but since a comparative analysis must be made between Unification Methodology and traditional methodologies, it has been placed last.
It was in this manner that the eleven areas of Unification Thought originally came to be arranged. The areas of epistemology and logic, however, have been placed at the end of the book right before methodology, for the sake of convenience, since they deal with sophisticated traditional epistemological and logical theories. As mentioned above, the content of this book is an arrangement of the major aspects of the Rev. Moon’s thought, covering, however, only the part of his thought that has been made available to the public. It is quite possible that new and deeper points of truth will become available to the public as time goes on. Accordingly, if the necessity arises, such new points will be added from time to time, according to the Rev. Moon’s instructions.
Finally, I would like to express my sincerest wish that this book may be of help to all the readers who are seeking a deeper understanding of the thought of the Rev. Moon, who has been living a life of complete dedication, under inexplicable persecution.