udyard Kipling said in his poem "The Ballad of East and West," around a hundred years ago, 'Oh, East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet.' But this prophecy is no longer accurate. Instead, today we can rephrase it: "Oh, East is East, and West is West, and now the twain have met." How so?
Today East and West are able to dialogue, primarily because of technological developments. In this dialogue we discover Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon. With a fascinating purposefulness and incredible devotion to realize God’s will in word and deed, he has been striving for decades to seek constructive solutions to critical global problems. In these efforts he has brought together from East and West, leaders of academia, arts, civil society, government and religion.
Principally, there are four ideologies that have created the prophet and the spiritual visionary, Rev. Moon.
He was born into the atmosphere of Confucianism. In the ninth century, Confucianism came from China. Actually, it was a combination of ideas of two contemporary philosophers. They lived at the turn of the century 500/400 BC. K’ung Fu Tzu (Confucius in Latin) was a government official and spoke about "the good society." Somebody asked him: "Is there one word that alone can serve as a principle of conduct for life?" The Master said: "It is the word shu—reciprocity: Do not do to others what you do not want them to do to you."
One of the Master’s disciples developed this explanation: "The basis for the world is laid in the state. The basis for the state is in the family. The basis for the family is in the individual." This is the ethical code for a peaceful and good society and world. This ethical spirit that should dominate the citizen’s mind and generate "the good society" is called tao, which means "the way" or "the way of life."
Another philosopher, Lao Tzu, the supposed founder of Taoism, added cosmic life-energy, spirituality and life to the understanding of tao. It is the knowledge about life which defines the life-affirming and life-promoting ethical values. If K’ung Fu Tzu was an atheistic social democrat, Lao Tzu was a consciously spiritual environmentalist. Lao Tzu analyzed life and its inherent "scientific" biological characteristics.
Later on, some of his disciples came to the conclusion that the cosmic life that gives life to vegetation, animals and human beings is made up of two opposite principles or characteristics or natures: on the one side, the male and positive principle, yang; and on the other side, the female and negative principle, yin. They are not opposites, but complements. "Life is the amalgamated harmony of yin and yang," one contemporary interpreter says.
Consider the analogy of our brain’s functionality. When the right side and left side are in balance, the human being feels well and harmonious. This condition is called tao. According to K’ung Fu Tzu and Lao Tzu, the human being who incarnates tao on a higher level of consciousness is on the level of the sage. The sage, the sublime one, is "the harmonious human being," the ideal human being.
Along with Confucianism, Rev. Moon came into contact with Buddhism, in the syncretistic Mahayana form. It shares basic views held by K’ung Fu Tzu and Lao Tzu but emphasizes the automatic consequences of the human being’s relationship to spirituality and tao.
The main teaching of Buddhism is about the human being’s relationship to life and its consequences, and about the connection between cause and effect. The entire history of mankind is built on a series of interactions between cause and effect. In order to create "the good society" and "the harmonious human being," we have to begin to find out the ultimate cause for the initial position and, from there, start the rehabilitating measures.
When Rev. Moon was eleven, his family converted to Christianity. Since Christianity is a diffuse concept, I want to explain that on his way to becoming an independent spiritual visionary, Rev. Moon encountered two versions of Christianity. First, Methodism was founded by the Anglican clergyman, John Wesley, in England. Wesley talked about the method as sanctification, which found its place with the intellectually perspicacious Rev. Moon. Sanctification is about absorbing the qualities of God in one’s life through self-training so you will become what Mahayana Buddhism calls a bodhisattva, or a "saint."
Second, Presbyterians taught about God as the Almighty, God as life, to which we have to submit. All individuals have equal, spiritually determined value, because just as the Psalmist said: "You are gods; all of you are children of the most High." (Psalm 82:6) God is the life within everyone. The awareness about this view about God and every individual is the way to peace, freedom from imperialism and wars, and unity and agreement among people.
But Rev. Moon did not stop here. His favorite reading became the stories of Genesis in the Bible. He studied them, impressed by the spirit of K’ung Fu Tzu and Lao Tzu. Spirituality and life are the same as God and the Holy Spirit in the Bible. He read: "God created man in his own image; in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them." (Genesis 1:27) Every human being should reflect and incarnate God in his life. Both Adam and Eve were supposed to reflect God’s inherent characteristics of yang and yin, respectively, and incarnate them in their family as the reflection of God and the root of "the good society." But then the Fall of Man happened, and mass media and daily life show us that the Fall has continued ever since. The Fall occurs when we do not submit to the will of God, when we do not follow our God-given inherent nature.
When Rev. Moon read the Gospels, he understood Jesus as the sage who used all his wisdom in the true prophetic spirit to reveal the Fall and fight to restore the harmonious Creation to the way it was in the very beginning. This ideal original state is described in the Bible as the Kingdom of God, the Kingdom of Heaven. Here is the ideal liaison to God, and the basis of all every individual and ecological laws.
The words "prophet," "messiah" and "spiritual visionary" are, in this sense, synonymous. Rev. Moon looks upon Jesus and the other religious prophets such as K’ung Fu Tzu, Lao Tzu, Moses, Buddha, Muhammad, as one group of saints. There is only one God, and they are all His prophets. Everyone who is God’s ambassador is God’s prophet, God’s messiah and God’s visionary.