The Principle, which is outlined in this volume, is a vision and a guide that offers hope to those who want to find the essence of life and live righteously. (When printed in roman type, 'The Principle' refers to the revelation received by the Reverend Sun Myung Moon.) All of us have at some time asked fundamental questions about God, ourselves, and the world. We have also often wondered what our futures would be. Such questions are common to everyone. However the answers that have been given often have been inadequate. In answering these questions, we need to think of them from a new perspective that will give us answers we can all be satisfied with. Outline of the Principle is directed toward this purpose.
The Principle is the teaching revealed by God to the Reverend Sun Myung Moon. Reverend Moon did not study theology or philosophy in school or with any teacher. God chose him to express His Will. Yet, revelation from God does not rush down easily, like water over a waterfall, nor is it given all at once. There are certain stages in unfolding, and a proper response by man is essential for that unfolding to proceed.
Sun Myung Moon was first called by God when he was sixteen years old. He then wandered through the invisible (spirit) world, which is the world of cause, seeking to solve all of the fundamental questions about life and the universe. He had to overcome tremendous obstacles in the spirit world. In search of the truth, he walked a path of suffering and fought a bloody battle against the forces of Satan. Only God really knows the kind of path he travelled. He freely communicated with Jesus and the saints in Paradise. In his spiritual communication with God, Sun Myung Moon received revelation concerning the fundamental aspects of God's will for man's life.
In order to systematize and teach this knowledge, he spent countless hours in prayer and in study of the Bible. In 1950 he began to teach formally the most important parts of The Principle to his disciples. However, much of The Principle received by Reverend Moon is still unpublished. More of The Principle revelation will be released according to the progress of the dispensation and the development of the foundation on earth.
Two texts, titles Wol-li-Hae-sul [Explanation of The Principle] (Seoul, Korea: Segye Kidokyo Tongil Shillyong Hyophwe, 1957; untranslated) and Wol-li Kang-ron [Discourse on The Principle] (Seoul, Korea: Segye Kidokyo Tongil Shillyong Hophwe, 1966; published in English as Divine Principle, Washington, D.C.: HSA-UWC, 1973) have been used as the official doctrine of the Unification Church. They were written by Hyo Won Eu, the first president of the Korean Unification Church, who served Reverend Moon in the early years of his ministry and was taught directly by him.
At Reverend Moon's request, this series, Outline of The Principle, is begin written, based on Wol-li Kang-ron, to help readers understand The Principle and to be used as a lecture outline. I (This text was written in Korean by Chung Hwan Kwak) have studied and lectured on The Principle for over twenty years under the guidance of Reverend Moon. Nevertheless I still lack a complete understanding of The Principle and the ability to perfectly express it. Not wanting to lessen the precious value of The Principle itself, I have written this book with prayer. If there is any confusion in the expression of The Principle, it is my responsibility alone.
According to The Principle, God is the origin of love and heart. God's motive in creating is to realize his ideal of love -- to realize his ideal of love is the Purpose of Creation. In the world where God's ideal is realized, man and all things are to live in happiness and harmony, with God's love as the source of their life and happiness. The world where the sphere of God's ideal love is complete in the Kingdom of Heaven. God created man on earth, not in heaven. God's ideal when realized on earth is thus called the Kingdom of Heaven on earth. Man is to live in God's kingdom on earth, and then his spirit self is to enter God's kingdom in the spirit world, where he will live for eternity (the relationship between these two worlds is similar to that between the mind and the body in human beings). The Kingdom of Heaven is the place where an individual who has completely experienced God's love lives happily for eternity in an ideal relationship of love with God and other people.
In God's ideal world of love, there cannot be any sin, unrighteousness, injustice, or restraint. However, the first man and woman did not fulfill their responsibility, and as a result, they did not perfect themselves, and they left the realm of God's love. This was the Fall, and its result was that sin and evil entered the world, and Hell, which is the realm outside God's love, came to exist.
Could God abandon this world, full of sin, unrighteousness and suffering? No; he could never do so. As he said in Isaiah 46:11, "'I have spoke, and I will bring it to pass; I have purposed and I will do it.'" God will restore man to be as He promised in the blessings that He gave after man's creation Gen 1:28. So God's dispensation for salvation is the Dispensation for Restoration, in which he will establish the ideal kingdom of love, which was his original Purpose for the Creation.
God is a living and active God. Both throughout history and in the minds of people, God's active providence has left its mark. Then, what of man, the object of this living God's dispensation; what has man been like throughout history? At each stage in history, God has had to deal with man according to man's spiritual state and intellectual level, has man always remained the same internally, or has he been progressing and constantly improving? If man had not fallen, he would have reflected God's character (Jn 14:20) and perfection (Mt 5:48), and thus God would have been able to relate to him directly. However, Adam and Eve fell and became embodiments of sin and evil instead of becoming the persons that God had originally envisioned. If we were to speak of how man's spirituality and intellect were affected by this state of separation and fall, we could say that they were reduced to a very base state.
Through God's Dispensation for Restoration, the spirituality and intellect of fallen people have gradually developed. As man's spiritual and intellectual levels have developed in each age, God has been able to revise accordingly the means of educating people and relating to them. for example, in Abraham's time, when man's spirituality and intellect were extremely low, God had to have people come closer to him through the offering of sacrifices. The people of that time were too immature to respond to laws and commandments. Several hundred years later, at the time of Moses, God carried out the dispensation through the Law. At Jesus' time, instead of repeating the same dispensation through laws or commandments, God worked in a new way to bring the people closer to him, by giving the Gospel, on a level appropriate for the spirituality of the people of that age.
The fact that the Jewish people, who so devoutly believed in God, did not recognize his son, Jesus, as the savior is a crucial point in the Dispensation for Restoration. Why were they unable to recognize his son, Jesus, as the savior is a crucial point in the Dispensation for Restoration. Why were they unable to recognize him? In that age, the people of Israel followed God through obedience to laws, but then God began to approach the people through Jesus himself, by means of the new dispensation of the Gospel. In light of these historical facts, we can see that as man's spirituality and intellect develop, God has always adopted a correspondingly developed method to reach man. The objects of the living God and his dispensation are not like fossils, but rather are persons who are very much alive and active.
Then, who is the present focus of God's dispensation? It is no the people of Jesus' time, nor the people of Moses' age, nor primitive man still further back. It is contemporary man, living here and now. Yet we cannot deny that today most young people are not interested in the churches and that people in general are turning away from the. The rational and scientific emphasis of people today demands a clearer and deeper understanding of the truth and an explanation of the seeming contradictions in religious teachings and practices before they will take up a religious way of life. As we have seen in God's historical process of restoration, God is alive and working, so we can know that God will definitely give man a new expression of truth, one that can lead the people of this age to salvation and a new age.
Today, many difficult questions arise during an examination of the Bible. For example, what is the proper relationship of God, Jesus, and man; what is the correct understanding of resurrection and the Last Days; why must Jesus return; and when and how will he return? Answers to all of these have been given in parables and symbols but they have yet to be clearly explained.
We read in John 16:25 that Jesus said, "'I have said this to you in figures; the hour is coming when I shall no longer speak to you in figures but tell you plainly of the Father.'" In John 16:12,13 we read that he also said, "'I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth; for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.'" And in Revelation 10:11 we read, "'You must again prophesy about many peoples and nations and tongues and kings.'" Each of these passages indicates that in the Last Days a new expression of the truth will be given.
However, since it will be a new revelation, there will be some aspects which may not be understood in light of conventional doctrine or tradition. For example, even though Jesus' teachings were based on the Old Testament, the people of his time were bound to such a literal interpretation of the Old Testament that they could not understand Jesus. It was for this reason that Jesus said, "' ... new wine must be put into fresh wineskins'" (Lk 5:38); he was teaching them that they had to make themselves new if they were to receive the new words.
We know that God worked through Noah and Abraham and we know that God spoke through Moses and Jesus. Is the same God, who is alive today, unable to give a new revelation? The church does not need another human interpretation of the Bible. What matters is how God interprets it and that we fulfill his Will by living it.
There is another reason that mankind needs a new, deeper expression of truth. We can clearly see the rapid collapse of modern civilization and of order in society with no satisfactory replacement in sight. A feeling of emptiness, loneliness and discontent has let to despair, confusion, self-indulgence, and alcohol and drug abuse. Confusion throughout society about standards of value and conduct has caused the strong trend toward egoism, and accompanying it, the breakdown of the family and the rapid increases in crime, juvenile delinquency, and all kinds of immorality, which are unsettling the foundations of society and causing a loss of hope in the future. Violence and war, which are prevalent, and racism, the unequal distribution of wealth, the impotence of the world religions in leading the modern age, and the expansion of atheistic Communism all reinforce the doubts about the prospects for modern civilization. None of these crises can bed completely or even partially solved in an instant. A fundamental and eternal solution is needed. Since God is alive, he will definitely save mankind from these crises through a new and revolutionary approach.
The key to truly solving or eliminating any of these problems is knowing and understanding their causes. It is because the causes have never been fully understood that these problems have never been fully understood that these problems have never been eliminated. The Principle explains these causes and then presents clear and practical solutions that through education make it possible for the individual and the family (which are the core of human society) to freely and happily alter their life styles.
To fallen man, knowledge is intellectual and spiritual renewal; ignorance is death and destruction. No aesthetic sentiments can come from ignorance, nor can will or hope flourish in it. And ignorance and misunderstanding of God cause men to turn away from God and to despair. The Principle not only shows that God exists, but also explains the original Heart of God and details of his dispensation as revealed in history.
Moreover, it fosters a change of character for those who sincerely want to find God through a spiritual experience with the Holy Spirit. The more we experience the true love of God through The Principle, the more we experience our own recreation. Furthermore, we are able to develop genuine and sincere human relationships with others.
Through developments in the means of communication and travel and through trade and cultural exchanges, the world has been drawn externally so close together that now each nation directly or indirectly influences all others. However, the basic content of human relationships is still distrust and hate based on self-centeredness and mutual lack of concern. In other words, despite the external trend toward a one-world community, unity and harmony in the truest sense are not present. And God's love alone can make them possible.
The principle teaches that the family is the basic unit needed for the realization of God's love. The Principle also affirms that only through establishing order in the home can love be planted in the dry heart of modern man, and only then can a true relationship be established between husband and wife, between parents and children, among brothers and sisters, and among neighbors. The love between an ideal husband and wife is the fundamental condition for the happiness of human beings. Only when there is such love between parents will children be able to understand and experience ideal love from their parents.
God's original ideal is for human beings to love God as their parent and live in brotherhood as one extended family. The principle is a guide to the awakening of man's original love and to the restoring of the original human relationships that will create a one-family world society.
The principle also leads to unification of the internal truths, which religion has sought, and the external truths, which science has sought. The reason that The Principle is able to achieve this unification is that whether one is concerned with man's inner life or the cosmos, man's effort to find truth in God's Creation is related to God, whatever the discipline or approach.
Furthermore, The Principle will prevail over the communist ideology, which denies God, and it will end the last ideological battle of history with a victory for God's side. Completion of the dispensation for salvation will include the restoration of people under communist regimes. They also are to become individuals with perfect character by means of God's love and new words.
According to The Principle, all religions throughout history which have sought and urged a conscientious way of life directly or indirectly came to exist by virtue of God's Will. It is true that today Christianity plays a central role in fulfilling the overall purpose of God's dispensation. However, God has led people of other nations by establishing religions suited to their particular time and environment in order to prepare them to receive the Messiah in the future. As John 3:16 says, "'For God so loved the world that he gave his only son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life'". God sends the Messiah not only for Christians, but for all mankind.
The revelation that God gave to Sun Myung Moon was given quietly in the East, but it has given men and women throughout the world, especially young people, new happiness and new hope, and it has given them life in the depth of their hearts. Young people from more than one hundred twenty nations, with different skin colors, cultural backgrounds, and life styles have all taken up this new life and have found new meaning and follow God's Will with a new passion. Here we introduce an outline of The Principle, which has the vitality to deeply move the human mind and spirit and to transform a searching individual into a person of new character centered on God.