Estimated Read Time: 14-20 minutes
So I said in theprevious postthat we need to grow our heart, or transform our heart, and that is probably one of the most important things we should do in life. But why?
I don’t know about you, but all this talk about theThree Blessingsandgrowing yourselfand reaching “perfection” doesn’t make sense if you just do all of these things and then die.
So I feel like there has to be some “next world” after death.
Those of you who are absolutely sure that nothing happens after death will probably laugh at this statement. And you can continue to laugh. But, just as I saidbefore, how can you be so sure? Might as well hear all the perspectives and see what makes the most sense.
What Next World?
My best guess in this “next world” is a world transcendent of time and space, free of any limitations, where we can do anything we wish. Because why should there be any limitations? I don’t think it would make sense if the “next world” is just like this one.
Now, two questions might arise from me saying such a statement: 1) What’s the catch? And 2) What’s the point of this universe then? Both are very reasonable questions to ask.
So let’s answer the second one first. God could have created a world transcendent of everything (time, space, all physics) as the Physical universe. But he didn’t. Because that doesn’t make any sense.
Even thinking about this from a human perspective, it doesn’t make sense. Think about it. If everybody could do whatever they wanted, that sounds like chaos. Let’s even take a simple example and say that I wanted to see and talk to this one person. But let’s also say that, I don’t know,a million other peoplealso wanted to see and talk to this person at the same time. What happens then? Does the person appear in all places at the same time? Do a million people crowd around that person?
(I attempted to put 1 million stick figures in one picture, then realized at the sheer difficulty of doing that. So here's 10,000 stick figures, at least)
There are so many other issues with a world like this, too, but I think a glaring one ishow is anybody going to learn anything?How is anybody going to grow as a person? If you can do whatever you want, whenever you want, can you learn patience? Will you ever learn to be humble (humility)? Will you ever learn the values of respect, and to respect other people and things? Will you ever be able to tolerate anything if you don’t want to?
The answer to all those questions is no (at least I don’t think so). But the beauty of this is that you can learn these values in the world we live in. I think physical life is naturally, purposefully frustrating for this reason. So we can learn, and we can learn these values. Because these values (patience, humility, respect, tolerance) among others are steps to true love (living for the sake of others). So they’re associated with growing your heart, too.
So the point of this universe here and the purpose of life here is to grow your heart, learn these values, and be able to practice those values when you get into the next world. That’s great.
But that doesn’t answer why we need to grow our heart and learn these values in the first place.
Why the Values?
The only way I can think of explaining this is this:
Imagine a fetus developing in a womb. In the womb, the fetus “breathes” water. Everything the fetus needs is already right there in the womb. If a fetus had the ability to think, the fetus would probably think, everything I need is already here, so why would there be anywhere else to go?
But everything that the fetus will need for the “next world” is already prepared while in the womb. In 9-10 months, the baby is out of the womb, and the very environment the baby was living in (the womb) and the thing the baby needed to survive (the umbilical cord) is no longer needed.
So now we’re living our physical life here on earth (in the universe). In this world, we breathe air (oxygen); we need it to survive. Everything we need is right here in the universe (I think?). We will probably think, well, we have this earth and this universe, so why would there be anywhere else to go (after death)?
But in 80-100 years (in an average, long-lived life), we’re no longer living, and we move on. Everything we need for the “next world” is already prepared while in the universe.
I was just kidding about the last statement. That’sour responsibility.
But you can look at the womb scenario and the physical life scenario as a kind of parallel. The womb prepares us for life in the physical world, and the physical world prepares us for life in…something.
So if we were to look at these as a parallel, what can we discern about this “next world”? Well, let’s see:
If we’re in the first stage for 9-ish months and the second stage for 80-100 years, what would it be in the third stage that would follow the pattern? That’s right, eternity (∞years).
If the first stage has the size of, well, a womb, and the second stage has the size of, well, the physical universe, then how big is it in the third stage that would follow the pattern? That’s right, infinite space.
Now this is the trickiest part: If we breathe water in the first stage, and air in the second stage, what would be “breathing” in the third stage? Sorry to say, but “infinity” is not a viable answer here.
But I remember something that my high school economics teacher said one time (not even joking), and I’ll never forget it. Mind you, he knew absolutely nothing about the Divine Principle.
He was talking about how he and his wife had a son. And they loved and cared for him very much. But then, a few years later, they were going to have another son. And they thought, how are we going to have the capacity to be able to love another son? But it happened. The second son was born, and they were able to love that son basically as much as the first. So in the end, he said (I might be paraphrasing):
“Love is not an economic resource, because it can keep giving endlessly.” –My High School Economics Teacher
And that is so true! I honestly cannot think of anything else that can be given at a seemingly infinite amount.
So what’s the connection I’m trying to make here?
In the first stage, you breathe
water.In the second stage, you breathe
air.In the third stage, you breathe
So there you have it.
(probably not an accurate representation of the Spirit world)
Some of you are probably laughinghardright now. But I’m not saying this is any sort of evidence for the next world. It is ultimately up to you on what you want to believe. But this makes sense to me, so I’m putting this out there in case it makes sense to you too. As I’ve said so many times before, this is something to think about.
So that’s the catch (if you even see it as one). We’ll call this next world the spirit world. In the spirit world, you can do whatever you wantbased on love, because we breathe love in the spirit world.
I think God actually wanted us to live in a world like the spirit world. But the only problem with that is that it's hard to grow in a world like that. So he made a physical world so we can have the time and ability to grow.
(Why didn't he make us perfect from the beginning? He wanted to give usresponsibility.)
Now what’s the connection between the physical world and the spirit world? And what do we human beings have to do with it?
Two Worlds Apart
Well, this is what the Principle has to say about it: “Corresponding to the human mind and body, the universe consists of the incorporeal world[spirit world]and corporeal world[physical world],both of which are real and substantial.” (p. 45)
(Again, not an accurate representation of the spirit world)
Wow, that’s interesting. For those of you who have never had a reason to believe in a spirit world or a life after death, you may be skeptical. What justification does the Principle have for this?
“The incorporeal world is so called because we cannot perceive it through our give physical senses. Yet we can perceive it through our five spiritual senses. Those who have had spiritual experiences testify that the incorporeal world appears as real as the world in which we live.” (p. 45)
Yeah. Not much. Not much evidence, at least. But that’s okay, the Principle wasn’t meant to provide scientific evidence. Maybe science will one day? Who knows. But this is interesting for now, at least.
I’d say most of us are not spiritually open (can use at least one of their five spiritual senses), so you have every reason to be skeptical.I don’t think we were supposed to be spiritually closed, though. But that’s another topic for another day.
Anyway, the Principle is just saying that the universe is made up of the incorporeal world (spirit world) and the corporeal world (the physical universe which we can observe). Together, they make up thecosmos. What a cool name.
The Principle says that the corporeal world is like a shadow of the incorporeal world… interesting. It also says that when we die, we shed our physical bodies and live in the incorporeal world for eternity. I guess that makes sense given all that we just said.
What About Us?
But yeah, the humans… the Divine Principle places us in a lot higher position than we might think. You might be surprised.
What are the position of human beings in the cosmos?
1) We are rulers of the universe.
Going with theprevious post, God does not rule over the universe directly; everything in the universe is in the realm of indirect dominion. We are too, until we reach “perfection” (full maturity). Once we reach perfection (and technically after fulfilling the second blessing too), we are qualified to rule the universe directly, by virtue of theThird Blessing. Now, keep in mind that even at this stage, God still governs the universe indirectly. It is still our responsibility to govern the universe.
Why can we have the ability to do this? Because apparently, we are composed offlesh, which can have dominion over the physical world, and aspirit, which can have dominion over the spiritual world. (p. 46) And we are the only being of its kind that has both, apparently.
(Not. An. Accurate. Representation. Of. The. Spirit. World.)
2) We are the mediator and center of harmony of the cosmos.
If you thought the last point was too much, welcome to this one.
The key to doing this is by uniting flesh and spirit undermind-body unity. Once that happens, the spirit world and the physical world can beginGTAwith that person as the center.
As a metaphor, we're kind of like the air between two tuning forks that enable them to resonate with each other.
Or, maybe even a better example is that we're (metaphorically) a radio or television transforming invisible waves into images and sounds that we can see/hear.
3)Each person is a microcosm of the universe.
Oh, you thought we were done praising humans? This one tops it all.
The problem is, I’m not really sure how to explain this one. It might be self-explanatory, but in case it’s not, here's something I heard a while ago:
Metaphorically speaking: Imagine us human beings represented as a mini-pyramid. Now, imagine the rest of the universe represented as a much bigger pyramid, but with the top truncated.
The mini-pyramid is basically the same as the larger pyramid (if it had the top), except on a much smaller scale. But the bigger pyramid is incomplete; we human beings (the smaller pyramid) complete the last piece of the puzzle.
Was this a good example? Well, it helps visualize it at least. The Principle isn’t much better at explaining this, saying that “human beings contain within themselves the essences of all things in the cosmos.” (p. 47)
But let’s take something interesting here: “If there were no people to appreciate the universe, then it could be likened to a museum without any visitors. The articles on display in a museum attain their true value and are cherished as historical relics only when there are people who appreciate, love, and take delight in them. Their relationship with human beings gives value to their existence. If there were no one to appreciate them, then what meaning would their existence have? The same holds true for the universe, whose lords are human beings.” (p. 29)
I know this doesn’t have much to do with us being microcosms, but I’m just saying that we play an important role here in the universe. We have the ability to appreciate the universe—I’m not sure if any other living being can do that.
I think another important thing to note is that we and other living things in the universe are made from the same orsimilar frameworkso that we are able to relate with them and they are able to relate with us. It would be hard to relate with something that has nothing in common.
But despite all this praise of humans,pleasedo not take this as human beings being the rulers of everything and therefore we can do whatever we want and ruin everything (in some cases). Remember, theThird Blessinggrants us to have dominion over the universe, but that dominion is more like “loving care.” So let’s lovingly care for the universe.
Also, keep in mind that this is the ideal. Obviously, it’s not this way now. But we’ll talk about that soon.
The Physical Self
But nah, we’re not done talking about humans yet. But the Divine Principle talks about humans in an interesting way. We won’t be only talking about the physical body; that’s what biology and anatomy is for. But the Principle will separate the human self into two aspects: thephysical selfand thespirit self.
The physical self is made up of the physical mind (in the subject position), and the physical body (in the object position). The physical body is self-explanatory. By saying the physical mind, though, I’m not talking about the brain; that’s still part of the physical body. Remember when I previously talked aboutmind-body unity? And I talked about the “body” being the aspect of the mind that thinks about the interests of the self?
That’s what the physical mind is. The physical mind directs the physical body for survival, protection, and reproduction. It needs nourishment to survive, so it gets air and sunlight, which the Principle refers to as “intangible, yang types” of nourishment, as well as food and water, which the Principle refers to as “tangible, yin types” of nourishment. (p. 47)
The body has[GTA]with this nourishment through its digestive and circulatory systems.” (p. 48)
There is a connection between the physical self and the spirit self: the physical self gives an element, called thevitality element, to the spirit self. This is a reason why the mind (usually) rejoices after good deeds, and (usually) feels anxiety after evil conduct. But more on that later.
The Spirit Self
But now this is where things get interesting: let’s talk about the spiritual self. The Principle says that the spirit self “can be apprehended only through the spiritual senses.” (p. 48)
Well, great. Guess I can’t prove its existence then.
I’m still going to talk about it though. Just to get you thinking.
The spirit self is made up of the spirit mind (subject partner) and the spirit body (object partner). The spirit mind is not your mind itself; it actually is what I referred topreviouslyas the “mind”: it’s the aspect of the mind that thinks beyond the interests of the self, i.e., the interest of others.
Now, the spirit body is a bit trickier to talk about. Well, we went through that when we die, we shed our physical bodies and live as spirits (for eternity). So each of us have a spirit body. Imagine this as a mirror image of your physical body. Now imagine that this spirit body is inside of you (no, not physically inside).
Some people may have experienced separating your spirit body from your physical body; you might have called it an “out-of-body experience.”
But that’s beside the point.
Like the physical body, the spirit body receives nourishment, too. It’s not like air, sunlight, food, or water, though. The Principle says that the spirit receives nourishment calledlife elements(yang) from God and those previously mentionedvitality elements(yin) from our physical self.
But the cycle is incomplete here. The spirit self, in turn, returns an element to the physical self called theliving spirit element.
Now, the Principle gets interesting here: it says the “spirit can grow only while it abides in the flesh.” (p. 48) While this is not exactly true (as we’ll find out later), for the sake of explanation, we can use an analogy that the “relationship between the physical self and the spirit self is similar to that between a tree and its fruit.” (p. 48)
(It might be clearer if you include the stem as the fruit, too)
The tree and the fruit exchange elements so that the fruit (spirit) can grow and become wholesome. Once the fruit is removed from the tree (analogous to death), the fruit can no longer grow.
But that’s not entirely true, either (both metaphorically and in reality). You can (technically) grow even if you broke apart from the tree; it’s calledgrafting. But that’s another topic for another day.
I think another thing the Principle is trying to say is that in the physical world, it’s almost inevitable that you'll learn the values of patience, humility, respect, and tolerance. But once you’re past the physical world, you can’t learn these valuesunless you have the motivation to. So that’s why it’s crucial to start learning them here, while we’re alive right now.
So the key to a healthy physical and spiritual life is some goodGTAbetween your physical body and your spirit body.
But wait! Now the Divine Principle gets even juicier. Now its saying that “it is not God who decides whether a person’s spirit enters heaven or hell upon his death; it is decided by the spirit him(/her)self.” (p. 50)
Whoa, what? How can this be?
The Principle is a little bit misleading when they use the word “decide.” It’s not exactly a decision you make when you die. If it was, everybody would choose heaven. So what is it, then?
Remember, God does not interfere with your (or anybody’s) responsibility.
The life you live here will be a reflection of the life you live in the next world.In other words,you choose your own destiny based on the life you live here.
So, basically, heaven is not some place you go as a reward when you die; heaven is more like astate of being. I think it makes much more sense when you think of it like that.
What About the Mind?
But one more thing: let’s revisit the human mind again.
So we have the spirit mind and the physical mind, which we’ve explained earlier. And we know that they have to haveGTAthroughmind-body unity, as we’ve explained previously. But there’s a few things we haven’t really quite touched yet.
Everybody has anoriginal mind: this is the “faculty of the human mind which pursues absolute goodness.” (p. 50)
Everybody also has a conscience. This is the “faculty of the human mind which directs us toward what we think is good.” (p. 50)
These are different things. But why does it seem like certain people don’t have a conscience, or an original mind?
Because the conscience is theinteraction of the original mind and “truth.”And by truth, I mean what the person thinks is right or wrong.
So if a person thinks that murdering people is okay, then it makes sense that the conscience will seem to agree with that.
When the truth overpowers the original mind, the conscience becomes clouded.
The time in the womb is forpreparation of the physical world; the time in the physical world is forpreparation of the spirit world.
We breathewaterin the womb; we breatheairin the physical world; we breathelovein the spirit world.
The point of the physical world (or at least a big aspect of it) is to be able tolearn the values of patience, humility, respect, and virtue, among others (all steps to true love)so we can practice those values in the spirit world. (Important because we breathe love there)
Human beings were meant to berulersof the cosmos,mediatorsof the cosmos, andmicrocosmsof the cosmos.
Thephysical selfis made up of thephysical mindand thephysical body; it receivesair, sunlight, food, and waterfor nourishment and gives an element called thevitality elementto the spirit self.
Thespirit selfis made up of thespirit mindand thespirit body; it receiveslife elementsfrom God andvitality elementsfrom the physical self. It gives an element called theliving spirit elementto the physical self.
The life in the physical world here will reflect the life you live in the spirit world.Your life is your destiny.(And a lot of your destiny has to do with how much you've been able to grow your heart—because we breathe love there)
Theconscienceis produced through theoriginal mind(which pursues absolute goodness) and thetruth, which is what we think is right or wrong.
And that’s it! This, combined withthefourpreviousparts, are a conclusion of the Principle of Creation—basically, what we were meant to be. Of course a lot of these can be expanded on (and maybe they will some time), but this is the basis of what the Divine Principle says.
I understand that a lot of this is human-centric, and we seem to often talk about us and the earth while in reality, there is a lot more to the universe.
It's completely fine to think about the vast universe beyond us. I’m just saying that it is also probably a good idea to improve ourselves first. And the Divine Principle tries to do its best to help you do that.
But anyway, we’ve finished the Principle of Creation. For the next post, we’ll start talking about what went wrong. Because all of this is the ideal—no matter how hard we try, it remains difficult to reach this ideal without finding out what went wrong.
As always, thanks for reading, and see you next post!
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