Unification Sermons and Talks
Rev. Gordon L. Anderson
Identification, Alienation, and True Kingship
by Gordon L. Anderson, Ph.D. Sunday Service, Unification Church of Minnesota, January 28, 1996
Our country and our world are plagued by fundamental divisions of race, class and culture. People are alienated from one another and from God. The identification with false gods and the alienation of one group from another is the basis of injustice and war. Today I want to talk about these elements of our personality as we work to create a world of true peace.
We can say that people have three basic kinds of attitudes toward the existing culture; (1) they identify with it completely, (2) they are alienated from it, or (3) they partially identify with and are partially alienated from it, seeking to transform it.
Historically, reactionary conservatives are closest to the type that completely identifies with a culture, refusing to accept any flaws. They will defend it against any criticism. In Christianity, the Biblical Fundamentalist who defends the Bible as literally and completely true and the complete expression of God's word represents this type. It would be impossible for such a person to accept the bible as partly true, or a human expression of God's Word, or a further revelation--such as the second coming of Christ. Many will quote the passage in Revelation 22:18-19 that says "I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if any one adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book, and if anyone takes away from the words of this book of prophecy, God will take a away his share in the Tree of Life and in the holy city which are described in this book." Lenin displayed this same attitude when he abolished all departments of sociology in the USSR in 1927, saying that Marx had completely explained sociology and had the final word on it.
Many people are alienated from cultures because they cannot identify with them. Some, like American Indians, and Black slaves in early America are alienated because they are excluded by those who lead defend a culture. Some people are alienated because they do not see a reflection of their dreams and ideals or their internal nature in that which they see; in other words they do not identify with it. Marx spoke about one's alienation from his labor in industry; unlike the artisan who invests himself in his art, the factory worker is a cog on a wheel, alienated from the fruit of his labor. One could say that an ecologically conscious person is alienated from the cultural habits of excessive consumption and waste products created by a disposable consumer economy. National identification and alienation are at the basis of the wars in the former Yugoslavia. A liberal Christian, who views the Bible scientifically and critically will be alienated from the fundamentalist. Such alienations can lead to great strife.
Most people both identify with aspects of the world and feel alienated from other parts. They attempt to transform the existing world in ways that better suit them. As St. Augustine said in The City of God, "All men desire peace, the problem is that they all want peace on their own terms." Hence, people have throughout history used power, wealth or knowledge to twist society to their advantage. We might say that this parallels the idea that all people want to be king so that others will serve them and they will have the most comfortable life. This may be a type of peace for the king--but it is not peace for the servants--and it is certainly not the peace of God.
True religion sees that the world needs to be transformed, but not to the will of people who want more security and comfort for themselves. True peace is the coming of the peace of God to the earth. True Kingship is the dominion over all relations through love; the true King is the best caretaker--not an exploiter. In the Unification Church we teach that after reaching the top of the growth stage, Adam and Eve were to inherit true dominion through love. Such dominion is earned, not given. In the Divine Principle we also learn that all people were meant to become kings and queens in their own domain. As we prepare in the coming months for Father to proclaim True Kingship, I would like us to think about how we might achieve this, and how it relates to our identification and alienation with American culture (or whatever culture we were raised in).
Human personalities and identities are derived from our relations -- from those things with which we identify. If we drive a bus for a living, one aspect of our identity is a "bus driver." If we identify with the ideals of a political party, they become part of our own identity. Our roles as child, spouse and parent to specific people help shape our identity. If we are a certain color, speak a particular language, belong to a particular religion, these things all help constitute our identity. Without relations we have no identity; hence we are no one. The more and greater relations we have, the richer and greater will be our identity. In the book Morality and Religion, Morton Kaplan wrote a chapter on this subject titled, "The Right to Be Left Alone is the Right to Be No One." Because we are constituted by our relations and the matrix of relations into which each of us is born is unique each of us has a specific identity which is an aspect of our each being an individual truth body.
The more we strive to identify with God -- through prayer and through other conditions -- the more godly our identity will be. Historically, most people in a stable society will identify with the status quo. As children, we get our identities from our parents. We mimic them and learn to accept our family environment as our own. If the society is stable, families will all identify with the values of the larger culture. They will view the established authorities as legitimate and not alien. This is the case for a homogeneous society. When people hark back to a Golden Age of a society, they often think of it in these terms.
Since our fundamental identity comes from our parents and is established at an early age, it is necessary for a child to be born into a true family if he or she is going to have a true identity. Whether a child learns to respond to others with trust or fear, with love or hatred, will depend on how the family -- the school of love and character -- conducted its own internal relations. If one is born into a dysfunctional or abusive family, one will likely have a dysfunctional or abusive personality. Thus for the creation of true children, the family is everything.
Alienation is the state of feeling separated from or alien to the dominate culture. People who do not or cannot identify with their environment are alienated from it. City people often feel alienated from rural life and farmers feel alienated from city life. Often, the state of alienation leads to a feeling of powerlessness, of inability to control one's own destiny. One may adopt a psychological maladaptation like fatalism, cynicism, alcoholism, or some other deviant behavior. In alienation we feel like non-being or anti-being, but not as true being or fully being. Alienation is not by itself an identity which provides wholeness and well being. For example, a member of an anti-cult group may gain a sense of identity by fighting cults, but fighting cults will not lead to a happy marriage, a productive job, or guarantee one is connected to God. Alienation may lead to joining a counter-culture group, becoming a social dependent on welfare, or becoming a rebel or revolutionary, but those identities are not sufficient for human life. The people who rebelled against the French monarchy succeeded only in creating a Reign of Terror when they attempted to institutionalize their rebellion.
The story of the fall of Adam and Eve is a story of human alienation from God and from true human personality. It is a basic psychological problem explained in the religious language of the Divine Principle. By entering into a premature sexual relationship, centered on insecurity and improper dominion, Adam and Eve created a false family. As a very dysfunctional family, they created dysfunctional children. Cain responded to his frustration by murdering his brother-the perceived source of his frustration- rather than seeking a constructive solution. Thus, human society was rooted in war and conquest-not in positive relationships based on true love and true kingship.
Throughout human history, great religious leaders and teachers have taught practices and ideals which would turn the false world of dominating relations (false kingship) into a world of true love, harmony and peace. We are fortunate enough to live at a period in history the historical partial revelations of how to create the Kingdom of God has culminated in a set of basic truths applicable to peace at the global level in the Completed Testament Age. We can now grasp the nature of the historical reversal that has to take place; we can see clearly what St. Paul said could then only be seen dimly. True personhood, true family, and true kingship are the three goals of all people; they are not to be taken in a plunder, waited for by doing nothing; they are earned and given as a Blessing by God, through those people and the elements of the natural world with whom we exercise true sovereignty-true caretakership.
Unfortunately, we all have received false identities from false families. Hence, it is necessary to "leave" that identity behind and put on a new identity. We must do this by joining a new family and inheriting the practice of true love until it becomes our own second nature. Historically, in the West, the church has had to perform the function of substitute family to facilitate our rebirth to a true identity. This is because Jesus was unable to establish a True Family in the physical world. Rather ,He and the Holy Spirit as spiritual parents cooperate with the churches to impart true values. To some extent, public schools and boarding schools are called to provide such education when parents fail to provide it as well. However, attending such training in a church or school setting occurs after the crucial character forming years have passed. They may overlay a new person on the "old self," but this makes us more like a repainted rusty car than one fresh out of the factory. The family is the factory; and society needs all of these thousands and millions of small factories to do their job well. The families are the basic building block of society on which churches, schools, and governments are built. A society is only as strong as its families.
Thus, we can see that the true goal of religion and the true goal of the Unification Church is not the creation of a church. A church can never complete the task of providential restoration. The task of the church is to create true families in order to create true people, who will assert true dominion over the world. True parents will create the true Lords of Creation for whom creation groans in travail. If the time would come when all people were true people and formed true families based on true love that formed another generation of true sons and daughters of God, then all mankind would exert proper sovereignty and there would be no need for a church for restorational purposes. We would, of course need social institutions of true community and churches might replace governments by take true care of the world by love (governments use coercion to maintain social order). Today, the Unification Church still functions as an institution of restoration more than an institution of true community. This is, of course, necessary because the members are having a difficult time in practicing true kingship.
Each of us has an original desire to become an autonomous and self- directed person, a true person. Each of us also has an original desire to be a completed person through mating with a person who is our other half. The union of masculine and feminine characters is required to make a fundamental social unit. Finally, each of us has an original desire for true kingship or sovereignty. The original desires correspond to the three blessings.
From the discussion thus far it should be clear that all of us have identities that are comprised of many things with which we identify or are identified with by others. All people have identities. In our identity do we feel alienated from the existing culture? Are we partially alienated from it and partially identifying with it? Our alienation causes frustration. This is only natural. The big question is how do we respond to such frustration. Do we seek to opt out of society by hiding in a closed off community with which we attempt to wall off the world? As church members to we stay in the shelter of our center or homes or go out into the world? On the other hand, perhaps we feel more alienated from our family or church and try to ignore our alienation from the false world by forgetting God and going the way of secular culture. In either of these cases we effect no transformation on the world and thereby exercise no sovereignty or kingship.
One way to exercise the desire for dominion is to dominate. As we said before, this is false dominion or false kingship. This is the way of Cain, to seek to resolve our differences with things that frustrate us by annihilating them. Some church members a few years ago might have wanted to kill communists rather than educate them with true love. Today, some of us may hit our spouse or seek a divorce rather than exercise true kingship in our marriage. Obviously, the true dominion comes from true care. We exercise true kingship with our car when we wash it and change the oil. We exercise true kingship (or queenship) with our spouse when we care for him or her. We exercise true dominion in our society, not by dirty politics or manipulation that others use, but by the creation of positive social institutions that make the institutions of force unnecessary. For example, we do not have to attack lawyers if we feel there are to many lawsuits. We can work on creating people who engage in responsible civil behavior that can resolve differences without lawyers. Then the volume of lawyers will naturally disappear. The practice and spread of true kingship will make false dominion disappear.
Obviously we want to be true owners or true sovereigns in our world. We want to bring about constructive change. However, world history has been littered with false kings. When Father proclaims True Kingship to the world, what image do you think will come to the minds of most people; a tyrannical or exploitative feudal king like Louis XIV or a generous self-made philanthropist like Reverend Moon? The world has known a history of false kingship--from which it has properly rebelled. The American constitution is designed to prevent the appearance of such kings. If we do not understand the idea of True Sovereignty in the Divine Principle we might even try to view Reverend Moon as a Feudal King. Thus he would become one of the most feared people on earth. People do not want to loose their freedoms to the arbitrary whims of a tyrant king. A person who lived under a false king might be afraid to try meet a true king; just as a woman who has been beaten and tortured by a false husband may be afraid to meet a true husband. They might prefer instead a lesbian relationship as a kind of escape from true marriage.
Benjamin Franklin and a number of the founders of the United States had an image of individual sovereignty quite different from that of a feudal king. You may have heard the saying "A man's home is his castle," or remember the words "We hold these truths to be self- evident, that all men were created equal." They had the notion that each person should be sovereign--that each should attain the third blessing of true ownership and dominion. They recognized that families and religion were required to produce a godly people capable of the democratic government they framed. This is consistent with the Unification doctrine of the kingship of all. We should all exercise true sovereignty over those things which we have won over to our dominion through love and hard work.
True sovereignty is not based on position, land inheritance, knowledge or wealth. While God intended each of us to gain dominion in each realm, he did not intend us to use power, wealth or knowledge as a means to control or manipulate others to enhance our own comfort at their expense. Such behavior would not treat others as sovereigns; it would violate the golden rule, the most basic teaching of the New Testament: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."
I believe that America is a very special and providential place because the founding fathers established a system of government that was designed to work properly with responsible and moral citizens-- true kings and queens. Our bill of rights allow us to see problems and speak out without being physically alienated. We do not have to agree with the President to save our own heads. Our nation is designed for people who will act constructively when something needs to be done. It is not for complainers or for sheep waiting for a master to lead. It is a land designed for true sovereign people, civic minded personalities, self-motivated and productive people who get their ultimate identity not from the group in power or a group alienated from power, but from God, the source of true power.
America was designed for godly people to prosper. America will fail if her people do not have their ultimate identity from God. The new democracies forming after the breakdown of communism and the old empires will fail unless their citizens can learn true kingship. True parents know this--I hope that we can understand it-- and I hope that we can learn to live as true sovereigns following the model of our True Parents. Let us take the proclamation of True Kingship as a battle cry to save America and the world; to make our world peaceful and prosperous. Let us each do our utmost to earn the status of king or queen from our car, from our house, from our spouse, from our children, from our community, from our nation and from our world. Let us exercise the type of dominion that God can bless. Let us understand that true kingship is a form of giving--not taking. Let us care for our world and others as True Sons and Daughters of God--and let us give our children true love, true life, and true lineage derived from the family of God. Let us prepare to take the mantle of true kingship as True Parents prepare to publicly declare this needed worldwide dispensation.
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