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An Innovative Family Concept

Father and Mother Moon have advocated the family as a school of love in their teachings – Unificationism. This new philosophy aims at solving the contemporary crisis. Unificationism proposes a comprehensive ontology where we find reasons to unite deeply with others. This ontology of unification is the foundation of a new ethics of love.

Most contemporary problems arise because we have lost our reasons to seek unity and harmony. “Living for the sake of others” is a core tenet of Unificationism. What should prompt us to live for the sake of others? It should stem from the heart, from a desire to sincerely care for others. What are “others”, then?

Others should be those whom we love, whom we serve, care for, respect and who love us in return. Then we feel meaning, value and joy. It is something natural, yet it has to be learnt and acquired through efforts. Tocqueville spoke of the habits of the heart.

Public domain image. Cropped

We may have friends, colleagues, comrades. We need them. But ideally, a human being first needs a nest of intimate love, to mature emotionally. Erich Fromm wrote a book about the art of loving [1]. This art is practiced in the family. If we are to master the art of loving, the most decisive “others” are the most familiar ones, our spouse, our parents or children, our brothers and sisters whom we love intimately.

There are no substitutes for the intimate others. They can only be found in something called the family. Unificationism defines the family as the school of love.

Committed and lasting relationships are the surest path to happiness. The place where this is possible is simply called the family. The family is in crisis because love is in crisis. Having lost our sense of loving, we apprehend the attachments in lasting families. We are to overcome this fear of loving and bonding deeply with others.

Societies which embrace family values and the marriage of true love will be happier; if people work well, eat well, live well, but cannot love well, their existence remains dull, empty, unfulfilled; we can become useful, but we shall never feel needed or necessary.

We need a revolution of true love. This revolution starts with redefining the essence of human beings; Unificationism concludes that “the human being is homo amans, a loving person, a person of love”. [2] Traditionally, human beings were defined as homo sapiens (emphasizing reason and knowledge) or homo faber (emphasis on work) or homo religiosus (emphasis on creeds). However, in Unificationism, the meaning and value of our life is not determined by what we know, what we do, what we believe. We find meaning and value in our existence when love guides all our quests.

What is love, then? It is an emotional power that binds us together joyfully, so that we feel one, internally and externally, with the loved ones. We feel enriched, improved, in the presence of loved ones, even if we meet natural challenges. Where does love come from? It springs from the heart, which is the core of the self. We are beings of heart. Auguste Comte coined the terms “sociology” and “altruism”. Starting as a rationalist, he finally proclaimed the “supremacy of heart”. But what is heart? Unificationism defines heart as “the irrepressible impulse to seek joy through loving an object.” [3]

Text: Laurent Ladouce

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[1] Erich Fromm, The Art of Loving, Harper and Brothers, 1956

[2] Sang Hun Lee, New Essentials of Unification Thought, Kogensha, 2006, ISBN 4-87856-829-4 C0010, p. 164

[3] Sang Hun Lee, op.cit.p. 23