Estimated Read Time: 10-14 minutes
At this day and age, Science answers more of our questions than anything ever could. For almost any question you have, science can probably answer it, or at least have some explanation for it.
So why would we need a new truth?
I’m deliberately using the word “truth” instead of “religion,” because in this day and age (in my experience), “religion” tends to carry a negative stigma—a you-can-believe-it-but-so-what type of vibe. It’s great if you truly believe and ardently practice a religion, but nowadays (in my experience), that alone doesn’t usually get someone else to join your religion or inspire you to believe in a God(s).
I’m not saying that the Divine Principle isn’t religious in any way (it is); but the termreligionitself is not that as accurate to describe these teachings.
Religion is defined as:the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods.
Most of this makes sense (I will go over which parts don’t much, much later) but again, this isn’t that accurate in describing what the Divine Principle is.
I think a better term to use is amovement: a group of people working together to advance their shared political, social or artistic ideas.
Indeed, the Divine Principle is part of a biggermovement, but it is important because it is thecoreof the movement’s teachings. Spreading the Divine Principle is a huge aspect of the movement’s goals.
But I’m still going to stick with the word “truth” (where “true” is defined asin accordance with fact or reality) here to describe the Divine Principle itself, because “truth” is different in that, if proven (often scientifically because how else can you prove something), it is undeniable, whether you like it or not.
Basically, I’m saying that anything can be called a truth, but, even if it is a truth, it is your choice to accept or deny it.
With that being said, let’s dive into the first sentence of the Divine Principle:
“Everyone is struggling to attain happiness and avoid misfortune.” (p. 1)
Yes, this is actually the first sentence of the Divine Principle. And generally speaking, even though science can’t prove it, this is (generally) a true statement.
The DP then goes on to say, “People feel joy when their desires are fulfilled.” (p.1)
Wait, that also actually makes sense. If you fulfill your desire, you feel joy. It’s that simple. So what’s wrong with that?
The DP says that in our present circumstances—desire (usually) has a negative connotation. Fulfilling our desires isn’t (usually) seen as a positive thing if the desire itself is not considered positive.
Fulfilling a desire (which is described as “a strong feeling to have something or wishing for something to happen”) is good if it benefits you—but at the expense of another person? That’s where it gets tricky. How do you know if a desire is good or bad?
The DP explains this by saying that there is a great contradiction in every person:
“Within the self-same individual are two opposing inclinations: the original mind that desires goodness and the evil mind that desires wickedness[the quality of being evil or morally wrong].” (p. 2)
The DP also says that “they are engaged in a fierce battle, striving to accomplish two conflicting purposes.” (p.2)
These words may be strong, but in a sense, it is true: however hard it is to deny, deep down, every one of us has a desire to do good. Yet, even so, we are interrupted by the desire to do the opposite, what is considered “evil” (maybe not everybody, but I’m sure it’s affected all of us once in a while).
You know you’ve done something contrary to an original desire (considered an “evil” desire) when you feel an unrest in our conscience and agony in our heart—like guilt. The DP says that this stems from your original mind, which everybody has.
Even if you’re gaining temporary happiness by doing an “evil” desire, if the overall outcome negatively affects your conscience/heart, it won’t be beneficial to you in the long-term (or for anybody, for that matter).
I’m not trying to say that humans are inherently evil—I’m just saying that there are two inclinations of your mind that have opposing purposes, and just this statement is hard to deny (and not exactly a matter of belief).
The original mind just longs for long-term, fulfilling happiness; that’s what it is. The “evil” mind may work to give you short-term happiness, but in the long-run, it doesn’t actually make youfeelhappy.
This is, in a general sense, what religion strives to do: follow the desires of the original mind and reject the desires of the evil mind. But even so, can anyone in history really say that they haveonlyfollowed the desires of the original mind?
Which brings the question: how did this happen? Was it like this for humans all the way from the beginning?
The DP explains that it seems unlikely that the human race could have arose with this contradiction, and that is a valid point. Can you imagine from the beginning of human history, this contradiction within all of us?
It seems more likely that there was some kind of singular event (or process) that made this happen (more on that much later). The DP states that this shift from no contradiction to contradiction is basically, a “descent into ignorance.” (p. 2)
To explain this further, people have two aspects: mind and body; they are considered internal and external, respectively. In respect, there are two types of ignorance: internal and external.
Throughout much of history, people have failed to overcome this struggle of internal/external ignorance. They have failed to be able to answer simple questions about the world we live in.
Which brings me back to my first question (which I haven’t answered yet): why do we need a new truth anyway? Science is a thing that exists. But there are some things that science has not solved and likely will never be able to solve. For example:
- What is the origin of human beings (and life, for that matter)?
- What is the purpose of life?
- What happens after death?
- Does God and the next world exist? What kind of being is He, and what is that world like?
- How do we solve the problem between good and evil?
- How do we find lasting happiness?
- How do we make a world of peace?
For all of these questions, science so far has not been able to come up with a viable explanation. But I’m not saying we don’t need science (of course we do). Rather, these are all aspects of internal, or spiritual ignorance. Science is not here to solve these problems, but rather aspects of external ignorance, like:
- What is the origin of the physical universe?
- What are the natural laws governing all phenomena?
Really, we are just working here with two opposite ends of the spectrum (internal and external). Throughout history, religion has specialized in answering the questions of internal ignorance, and science has specialized in answering the questions of external ignorance. They each specialize in their field, and either aspect trying to answer the other won’t make sense.
I’ll give you an example—for the longest time, people believed that the sun revolves around the earth because we were the center of the universe. And if we believe that God created us as the center of the universe, it seemed to make sense. But Copernicus walked in and said that no, the earth revolves around the sun, which was a radical idea at the time. But he was right. That’s why religion should work to overcome internal ignorance and science should work to overcome external ignorance.
Some people may even consider: why do we need to answer the first questions anyway? (purpose of life, what happens after death, God, etc.)
Here is what the DP says, in the form of a metaphor:
“What of the sailor who voyages on the sea of the material world under the sail of science in search of physical comforts? Let him reach for the coast for which he longs. He eventually will come to realize that it is nothing more than the very graveyard where his body will be buried.” (p. 3)
Wow. As harsh as this metaphor is, it’s hard to deny: you can’t have a fulfilling, lasting happiness on external conditions alone.
The DP then continues on with the metaphor:
“When the sailor, who has completed his voyage in search of external truth under the sail of science, adds another sail, the sail of religion, and embarks on a new voyage in search of internal truth, he finally will be headed toward the destination for which his original mind yearns.” (p. 4)
Okay, I guess that makes sense. You can’t have fulfilling, lasting happiness without internal truth. But the other thing is, you can’t have lasting happiness on internal conditions alone, either:
“Religions have made strenuous efforts to deny life in this world in their quest for life eternal. They have despised the pleasures of the body for the sake of spiritual bliss. Yet however hard they may try, people cannot cut themselves off from the reality of this world or annihilate the desire for physical pleasures, which follows them like a shadow and cannot be shaken off.” (p. 6)
This also makes sense—it doesn’t seem very pleasing to anyone to only fulfill your internal, spiritual desires—I can see why people can’t see fulfilling, lasting happiness in this way.
Then DP then takes it to a slightly different direction and brings up a point about the decline of religions: because of the progress of science, you need a scientific approach to understanding reality. But the scriptures of religions are largely devoid of these scientific explanations.
Understanding is the starting point for knowledge—religions need to at least guide people to the level of understanding. Especially today, people will not accept something that is “not demonstrable by the logic of science”: even internal truth needs a “logical and convincing explanation.” (p. 6)
So we zoom out at this point: religion has answered one aspect of the questions, and science the other, and these aspects seem totally contrary to each other. But if happiness requires both internal and external aspects, then there needs to come a time when religion and science unite and resolve each other in “one integrated undertaking.” (p. 7)
As surprising as this may be, this makes sense: if religion says one thing, and science says the contrary, how are you going to fulfill both internal and external parts of happiness? We’d never be able to fulfill both aspects at the same time.
So we need tofully overcome both types of ignorance and fully comprehend the two types of knowledge. Great. This is one thing that the new truth should be able to help us do.
You may be asking,wait, there’s more? What else is the new truth supposed to do?
The DP continues by saying that the new truth should lead fallen people to “pursue the goals of the original mind” (and “block the ways of the evil mind”). (p. 7)
This also makes sense: if the new truth is going to come, it better be able to solve this contradiction.
Then, the DP continues and says the new truth shouldreveal the nature of God(or First Cause, or Ultimate Reality, or whatever you want to call it). It should be able to answer questions like: is He a being of personality? Does He have a heart? If so, how does He feel? How has He felt?
But we’re not done yet. The new truth is ultimately for everyone: it needs to be able to “embrace all historical religions, ideologies, and philosophies, and bring complete unity among them.” With this, this one united ideology should “
bring humanity into a new world.” (p. 8)
But wait, there’s one more: the new truth needs toguide fallen human beings back to their original state: To do this, it needs toreveal the purpose of humankind and the universe, teach about the process to get there, and explain the ultimate goal.
Wow, okay. What started out cute as “yeah, the new truth needs to unite religion and science” turns into “but wait, the new truth needs to basically do this, this, this, and save the world.” Okay then.
Just some other random points the DP dumps on you to remember in case you got lost in the fold:
It is human nature to accept and believe things if they can be proven scientifically.
Placing ultimate purpose in the material world leaves a great void and emptiness in your heart.
Why do people believe in God and not follow their original mind? Their belief in God is merely conceptual.
But one more important thing that the DP takes note: this ultimate truth… “…must appear as a revelation from God.” (p.11)
For those of you that don’t believe in God, that may be a laughable statement. But think about it—if it wasn’t a revelation, and it was based on something like religious texts or human intellect, anybody can come up with it, and surely someone must have thought of all the problems of the world by now.
But here we are.
And the Divine Principle’s goal is to solve these questions, among many others, and to do it in a way that makes sense and doesn’t interfere with other things that we share, like science. In fact, you can literally believe in another religion and still follow the Divine Principle because it fits so well, and ultimately, it is for everyone.
Okay, you probably got totally lost by reading all of this. Let’s try getting back to the reality of things.
This is my personal opinion: generally, I’d like to think of solving the questions of life, love, and the universe in three questions:
1) What were we meant to be?
2) What went wrong?
3) How do we fix it (Or, maybe even, how have we been fixing it)?
If you can answer these three questions (or already have), you’re set for life (and whatever comes after it).
But, in the meantime, the Divine Principle will do its best job to answer these questions for you.
In fact, this is what the basis of the Divine Principle is about—it’s even divided into sections trying to tack on these very questions: Chapter 1 tries to answer the first question, Chapter 2 the second, and the rest of the book tries to answer the third.
But if you thought we were done and this is it, let me just try to tell you:We’re just getting started.
In the next post, we will do our best to tackle the question:What were we meant to be?
Until then, thank you for reading, and I’ll see you in the next post!
UPDATE:Here's thenext post.
P.S. I sincerely apologize for the lack of images and diagrams in this post. It’s just that, for this topic, it was hard to draw any image/diagram that would complement the writing. But I promise, in the next post, you will have more images and diagrams. Thanks for actually reading up to this point, though.
P.P.S. All definitions provided by Google™. All other references are to the Divine Principle (page numbers cited).
P.P.P.S. Thanks for putting up with my laughable drawings. I promise they will be better next time.
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