The Words of the Kaufmann Family


Frank Kaufmannn

It is oft repeated that the road to Hell is paved with good intentions. I like the aphorism. It reminds us of the important insight that failing to act on ones inspirations and responsibilities is treacherous. As interesting, I think, especially for those busily acting, may be the fact that the same road, or perhaps an even faster one, is paved with bad intentions.

So if you're someone with bad intentions, its worse if you have high results!

But let us leave the road to Hell for a moment. It's a crowded road, already well explored and highly traveled. The road to Heaven should be more interesting; also more worthwhile for those who develop some expertise in this branch of cartography. At the end of the day, is this not what religion is all about? You're driving down the road, trying to get to Heaven, you stop strangers and ask directions. You get a variety of conflicting answers, you pick one for some reason or another, and then start down one of the paths that one of the strangers recommend.

These directions have two aspects; the general idea, and the concrete details. If you'll allow me to be simplistic for a moment, let's take some examples. Say you get Buddhist directions. The general idea would likely have something to do with non-attachment, understood in a specific fashion generated by an accurate and intuitive grasp of the Four Noble Truths. The details include guidelines enumerated in the Eightfold Path, various Sutras etc. Plenty of meditation, and other techniques designed to relieve one of desires.

OK, say you stop to ask directions from a Christian. The general idea involves something requiring linking one's faith to the substitutionary self sacrifice and victorious resurrection of a fully divine, fully human innocent. The details include various ways to intensify, and give evidence of this linkage; receive the Eucharist, witness, do good works in Jesus' name and so forth. The list goes on. If you stop a Muslim, you'll get instructions (lots of prayer, study, and good works) designed to alleviate one's forgetfulness and re-establish an inseparable bond, characterized by surrender, with God, the merciful and compassionate. If you stop a Hindu you'll get detailed instructions for the realization of Moksa, a state in which the illusion of distinction between Brahman and Atman is dissolved. These are all interesting; paths which both in general and in detail have been followed by at least millions, and some of them billions.

What directions would you get if you stopped a Unificationist? What's the general idea? What are the details? OK, I'll posit a few thoughts here, and throw myself open to the wolves. The general idea: Begin by substantiating the change of blood lineage initiated upon the completion of the five steps of the Blessing, thus becoming a true son or daughter of God and True Parents. End with mediating perfect harmony between God and the Cosmos. The details: Live for the sake of others as an object where appropriate and as a subject where appropriate. Substantially accomplish the transformation of people and institutions into vehicles for the fulfillment of the Will of God, namely the purpose of restoration and the original purpose of creation.

Say I am somewhere in the ball park with my description of the general idea. This means that what it means to be a Unificationist should be characterized by a piety growing out of the dynamic interplay between a) substantial actual results, and b) the heartistic relationship between parents and children. This combination should produce something which is the Unification version of the most important religious thing to do which suggests that you are or are not doing a good job, and heading for Heaven.

Every religion has its core religious activity for getting to Heaven. For some it may be mediation. For others it may be confession and Mass, Baptism, or prayers, fasting, and charity. For Unificationists, I want to present that its core religious activity, given the twin emphases of substantial results and relationship of heart, is reporting. For the Unificationist, the road to Heaven is paved with good reporting. Conversely, the road to Hell is paved with bad reporting.

This core religious activity in Unificationism of "reporting" is two sided due to the fact mentioned above that we must be ideal objects where appropriate, and subjects where appropriate. This means that there are two types of reports, reports are given to those above (given to my subject), and reports given to those below (to my objects). Both types of reports have the same content, and same purpose, but merely different direction. Both types of reports have an internal and an external dimension. The external dimension has to do with actual, substantial results, the internal dimension has to do with heart, parent-child love.

The internal dimension is subject. The heart we have for the people to whom we report is the most important. The external dimension is object, while it is good to have actual results, and bad not to have them, that reality is still less central in a reporting situation than the heart with which one reports either one's failures or one's victories. One should report from the object position with a heart of filial piety, and to one's members and colleagues with the heart of a parent. Given this paradigm, we can understand why it is bad to lie when one reports. The reason is because lying disrespects the person(s) to whom you are reporting, not because honesty is an absolute virtue in and of itself. Because of what is implied about the heart, lying when one reports is a very bad thing to do.

A good report does two things: Internally it provides the hearer with encouragement, comfort, and inspiration. Externally it provides the hearer with necessary information thus enabling sound and wise decision-making. What good is it to have momentarily encouraged, comforted, and inspired someone (or some people), if one's report simultaneously causes them to make decisions which will bring about misfortune and suffering. It is terrible to do such a thing. It is a grave error to imagine that there are ever occasions in which it is acceptable to be less than forthright when reporting. It is simply a misguided notion to think that one has acted in a loving manner comforting father or inspiring members with prevarication and half truth. What one really does when making such a decision is to consider the one(s) to whom you report, less than you, incapable of bearing or benefiting from factual accounts. Such a decision so fundamentally offends and disrespects the hearer(s), that any possible presence of care is lost beyond recovery.

If a greater than necessary burden has been left for the second generation, it may well be the fruits of decades of dishonest reporting. Again this is not because honesty is some kind of principal virtue in and of itself, but because the willingness to be dishonest decimates the possibility of fulfilling with one's report the more important affairs of the heart. It is a profound mistake to imagine that a filial son lies to comfort his father, or that a loving parent lies in order to protect his or her children. It is a lying son, who lies in order to comfort his father, a lying parent who lies in order to comfort his child. As the second generation take up the mantle, I for one pray that this above all may change. The road to heaven will remain unpaved unless reporting changes to emulate the fury of that magnificent first one of the second generation.

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