Estimated Read Time: 18-25 minutes
So, in the last post, we tried to uncover what went wrong in the beginning. What we got was a singular event which led to (after quite some time) the state of the world we have today.
It seems unbelievable that one event can cause pretty much everything else to happen. It’s also very unlikely (okay, probably impossible) to find archaeological evidence of any of this. So if you’re skeptical, I don’t blame you. It’s up to you to believe whether this event happened or not.
But, if it indeed happened, then this event might answer some questions, but raise some other questions and concerns, too. The Divine Principle tries its best to stay logical and answer the most obvious of these questions.
So let’s begin.
Question: Didn’t God foresee something like this happening?
Perhaps this can also be phrased as: why is the power of love stronger than the power of the Principle?
Let’s talk about the second question first. The Divine Principle gives an analogy of a Principle by representing it as a train and its tracks. The train is going to a certain destination; this is its end goal (as described in the Principle). Besides a breakdown in the tracks, there is no way the train can run off the track.
The Divine Principle states that “the force inherent in the Principle guides [human beings’] growth in the proper direction.” (p. 66) Basically, if the Principle is followed, then you will surely reach your destination (end goal). Therefore, the Principle itself cannot cause someone to fall. Here, the only way the train could “fall” (run off the track) is if an outside force pushes the train in another direction. The force that is stronger than that of the Principle is love.
I don't know what the blob is supposed to be, either. If I made it red, it would look like blood. If I made it yellow, it would look like an oil spill. If I made it blue, it would look like water. So lavender it is.
If this force pushes the train (which represents human beings) off the principled track, it is considered to be unprincipled love. Before human beings reach perfection, it is possible for unprincipled love to induce human beings to fall.
But why did God make it this way, if this opens up a whole new potential for disaster?
This is what the Divine Principle says: “God’s love is the subject of all loves flowing within the [FPF]… Without God’s love, there is no way to establish the true [FPF]; without God’s love, there is no way for us to fulfill the purpose for which we were created.” (p. 66)
That was a mouthful. Basically, this is saying that there’s the Principle, and there’s love. The Principle functions through love. In a similar (but different) analogy, the train on the tracks would represent the Principle, and the fuel that runs the train would represent love.
I know most trains run on electricity now, but let's pretend this train runs on gasoline-like fuel.
This might help you visualize things better, but I know, this still doesn’t explain why the power of love is stronger than the power of the Principle. Let’s try to explain this a little differently.
Let’s say the Principle is the blueprint of happiness. If you follow the principles of the blueprint, it can get you to happiness. But what will actually get you to happiness is love. So the Principle is a blueprint, and love is the driving force to make that blueprint a reality.
If you look at it this way, then of course both the Principle and love are important and essential, but if you had to choose one, which one would you pursue? Which one would God want you to pursue? I’m pretty sure it would be love.
To add on, the Divine Principle says that “God created human beings based on the Principle, [but] He governs us through love.” (p. 66) So if love needs to fulfill its role, then love needs to be stronger than the Principle. Otherwise, if love was weaker than the Principle, then God can’t govern human beings through love; we would pursue the Principle more than the love of God. (p. 66)
You know God doesn't look like this.
So love needs to be stronger than the power of the Principle. Now that we have that clear, let’s address the first question: did God foresee the Fall happening?
I think He did. I mean, obviously, right? I’m sure He can think several steps ahead and see just a possibility that this could happen. So what did God do? He needed to do something about it, right?
He did. God gave the Commandment to not eat of the fruit (of which we should all know what that is now). Problem solved.
Well, no, not really. We also need to address why God gave that commandment.
God knew that the power of love is stronger than the power of the Principle. God also couldn’t govern human beings directly while human beings were in the indirect dominion. So he gave the Commandment. What would this do?
Love is stronger than the power of the Principle. But, if Adam and Eve had followed God’s commandment with absolute faith, then no matter how strong the power of unprincipled love is, Adam and Eve would have made it. Essentially, it looks like this:
This was the main reason why God gave the Commandment, but there was also another reason: if we were to have dominion over creation (the Third Blessing), then we need to fulfill our own portion of responsibility to be qualified. Having faith in the Commandment was another one of these responsibilities.
Plus, the Commandment wasn’t meant to be kept forever. God did give the Second Blessing to Adam and Eve too, so as soon as they reached full maturity of character (perfection), they would be allowed to eat the fruit. At this stage, Adam and Eve’s “conjugal love would have become absolute. No person, no power in the universe could ever break that bond of love.” (p. 67) All they had to do was get through the three stages without falling.
One thing to note is that the Commandment was given only to Adam and Eve, not the Archangel. This makes sense, as only human beings were to inherit the blessing of dominion over creation.
So that about answers it. God did foresee all of this happening, so He gave the Commandment to Adam and Eve to try and make sure it didn’t happen (but it still did). The power of love is stronger than the power of the Principle because we grow according to the Principle, but God governs us through love.
Question: Why did God not intervene in the fall?
Ah yes, the question of the ages. Surely, if God is omniscient and omnipotent, He would’ve known what was going on and could just stop it right there, right…?
All depictions of God are the artist's exaggeration.
In a nutshell, I guess? God could be omniscient and omnipotent. But He didn’t stop the fall from happening. Why? The Divine Principle brings forth 3 reasons, all of which are pretty similar. Take a look:
1) To Maintain the Absoluteness and Perfection in the Principle of Creation
(p. 77) This one is straightforward. God does not directly govern human beings while they are in the indirect dominion. Instead, God recognizes that human beings have their own portion of responsibility that they need to fulfill. We need to fulfill this portion of responsibility in order to fulfill the Third Blessing (dominion over creation).
This is why, while we are in the indirect dominion, he will not intervene with our portion of responsibility no matter what. If God were to intervene, this would start a slippery slope: He would be ignoring the human portion of responsibility. In that case, God would disregard his own Principle of Creation. If even God can ignore his own Principle of Creation, then we would have to conclude that the Principle is not absolute and perfect. If we were to conclude that, then we would also have to conclude that God is not absolute and perfect.
So, if God wants to keep his Principles absolute, then God has to follow his own Principles. Obvious, but worth explaining, I guess.
2) That God Alone Be the Creator
(p. 77) Now the Divine Principle starts off with this statement: “God only governs over a principled existence which He has created and only sways the course of principled acts. God does not regulate any unprincipled existence which he did not create, such as hell; nor does He interfere with any unprincipled act, such as criminal acts.” (p. 77) Apparently, Satan created these unprincipled existences.
Does this make sense? I guess. If God isn’t even going to intervene with our portion of responsibility, then surely He wouldn’t interfere with something He didn’t create. The only thing he would wish to relate with directly are people who have fulfilled their portion of responsibility, i.e. are in the direct dominion. So God would only directly relate with principled things.
With this logic, if God were to recognize any beings or their acts, they would be recognized as principled. So if God were to have intervened in the Fall, He would be recognizing those acts as principled, but in reality, it was Satan who willed those acts to happen.
So, if God wants to be the sole Creator, he has to follow his own principles and only recognize principled acts.
3) To Make Human Beings the Lords of Creation
(p. 78) This is very similar to the first reason. God gave human beings the Three Blessings. In particular, if human beings were to fulfill the Third Blessing (dominion over creation), they need to be qualified to do so. Otherwise, they would just stand on an equal footing with the rest of creation.
And how do they gain these qualifications? I’ve said it again and again: they need to fulfill their own portion of responsibility. Since God will only directly relate with people in the direct dominion, he will only relate with people qualified to rule (have dominion).
If He does, however, happen to rule directly and control the lives of human beings who are still in the indirect dominion, this means He would be recognizing these people as those who are qualified to rule (when they are not). He would be treating unqualified human beings as if they were qualified. This means that He would disregard his own Principle of Creation, and here we have this slippery slope again.
Since He wanted human beings to be the “lords of creation” (in other words, have dominion over creation) and they needed to fulfill their own portion of responsibility, He could not intervene.
Question: What about freedom? Did freedom cause the Human Fall?
This is probably not a question that most people have in mind. But the Divine Principle does address it.
The underlying answer is no. This may seem surprising, but if human beings did not have freedom, then this would undermine literally all of the Principle of Creation. No freedom for us means that God would technically control everything, which I don’t think He actually intended or wanted.
So human beings needed to have freedom in order for God’s plan to work. But the Divine Principle defines this as a completely different “freedom” than the one we’re used to. It gives 3 aspects of this freedom:
1) There is no freedom outside the Principle.
At first glance, this sounds insane. What? I thought freedom was doing whatever you wanted! But this is the Divine Principle’s formula of freedom:
Or, you can also put it like this:
Look familiar? That’s because the Divine Principle says that free will and free actions take a position of internal nature and external form. So true, perfect freedom is when those two are in harmony. This means that free will is not complete without free actions, and free actions cannot exist without free will. Simple? I hope so.
Then, it continues on, saying that free actions are generated from free will. Free will is an expression of the mind. This all makes sense so far. And then this statement comes:
“Since the mind of an original, sinless person cannot operate outside of … the Principle, it will never express free will or generate free action apart from the Principle.” (p. 74)
This might be a bit hard to grasp, but all the Divine Principle is trying to say is that true freedom comes from the original mind. Once you understand that, everything else makes sense:
And with this logic, of course there is no freedom outside the Principle. Yeah, I know, it’s probably a lot different from the ‘freedom’ that you’re used to, but give it a thought.
2) There is no freedom without responsibility.
Now this gets really interesting. At first glance, this doesn’t make sense either. The Divine Principle’s justification on this is that any human being trying to pursue the Purpose of Creation as prompted by their free will does it by accomplishing their portion of responsibility.
So basically, responsibility comes with freedom—at least in this true sense of freedom, where free will comes from the original mind. So it’s an add-on to the last statement. I guess that makes sense…
But it still seems weirdly worded… what if I just…
I don’t know if this is any more correct now, but to me, this makes much more sense. The only way you can have responsibility is if you have freedom. If you have no freedom, then you have no responsibility.
3) There is no freedom without accomplishment.
We can use the same logic as the last statement. First, the Divine Principle justifies this by saying that when human beings exercise their freedom and carry out responsibility, they strive to accomplish results.
And I guess that makes sense too: accomplishment comes with freedom. We’re just adding onto all the other statements. But let’s just see what happens when we make the switch again:
There. The only way you can make accomplishments is if you have freedom. If you have no freedom, then you have no accomplishments. That makes a lot more sense.
So now that we have all of this (freedom an expression of the original mind; comes with responsibility; comes with accomplishments), what can we say about freedom and the Human Fall?
Well, if we’re going by this version of freedom, then we can obviously say that freedom could not have caused the Human Fall. What caused the Fall was unprincipled love. Freedom may have brought human beings to the brink of the Fall, but unprincipled love pushed them over the brink.
In truth, because of the Human Fall, human beings have lost their true freedom (of the original mind). That is why throughout history, “people have been ever more zealously aspiring for freedom, even at the cost of their lives.” (p. 75)
The Divine Principle ends this segment by saying: “Moreover, as aspirations for freedom mount in intensity, people demand a social environment conducive to its realization. When the social circumstances of an era cannot satisfy the desires of freedom-loving people, revolutions inevitably erupt… Revolutions will continue until true freedom has been fully restored.” (p. 76) But that is another topic for another day.
And those were some of the obvious questions that the Divine Principle addressed. Now, what are the consequences of the Fall happening? After all, theunderlyinggoalsandprinciples are still the same; the Principle of Creation isn’t going to change just because Adam and Eve fell. I think the Three Blessings and the Kingdom of Heaven is still a goal that everybody should strive to achieve.
Then why is it so difficult? Why can’t we do that all now?
Well, here are some of the consequences that make it much harder for us:
We are all descendants of Satan
Since our first ancestors built a four position foundation centering on Satan, instead of God, we are all descendants of Satan to this day. Why does this matter? Just because of this, Satan can claim all of humanity as his children.
Satan can also instigate in the activities of human society. But in order to do so, Satan still needs to follow God’s principles: he needs to find an object partner with whom he can form a common base and engage in GTA. So how does he do this? Satan finds ‘evil’ spirits in the spirit world. The object partners of evil spirits are spirit selves of people who interact with these spirits. The object partners to these spirit selves are the physical selves of those people. Basically:
But with a situation like this, how are we ever going to achieve the Kingdom of Heaven? This is what the Divine Principle says: “The Kingdom of Heaven on earth is a restored world in which Satan can longer instigate any activity. To realize this world, it is necessary for all humanity to eliminate their common base with Satan, restore their common base with God, and engage in [GTA] with Him.” (p. 69)
Ah, great, but how are we going to do that? And what are we going to do with Satan himself? Well, there are two options here:
1) Coercively bring him to submission before God
2) Bring him to voluntary submission before God
This is, of course, assuming that we can’t just eliminate/get rid of him. Now, which sounds better? Option 1 might sound easier. But actually, the Divine Principle argues, since God endowed human beings and angels with freedom, He can’t do anything coercively. They have to come back voluntarily, under their own free will.
So there we have it. If we’re going to bring this world closer to the Kingdom of Heaven, we’re going to have to, in very broad terms, bring Satan into voluntary submission.
That’s sweet and all, but what does that even mean? Where do we start?
Well of course we start with ourselves. For now, just keep ‘voluntary submission’ in the back of your head.
What is Good and Evil anymore?
Because of the Fall, it can be tricky to define what is good and what is evil. But the Divine Principle says that “although good and evil elements or actions may take the same form, their true nature may be discerned through their fruits.” (p. 70) Fruits here is synonymous with results.
So let’s take an example. The word ‘desire’ seems to have a negative connotation nowadays and may sometimes even be considered sinful. But the Divine Principle claims that ‘desire’ is actually God-given.
Why? Because the purpose of creation is joy. Joy is only attained when our desires are fulfilled. If we had no desire, then we can’t experience joy. The Divine Principle takes it even further and says that “If we had no desire, we would not have any aspiration to receive God’s love to live, to perform good deeds, or to improve ourselves… an orderly, harmonious and flourishing human society would be impossible.” (p. 70)
So, is desire always good? No. Desires are good when they “bear fruit for the purpose of God’s Will”, and evil when they “bear fruit for the purpose of Satan’s Will.” (p. 70) It’s all in the results.
Another thing to note is that any standard of good and evil set throughout history is relative; standards change, especially through cycles of conflict and revolution. This happens because “people have been seeking the absolute goodness which their original mind desires,” (p. 71) and this will continue until the “final achievement of the world of goodness.” Until then, standards of goodness will remain relative.
And now, what about ‘good spirits’ and ‘evil spirits’? This is how the Divine Principle addresses these: “We use good spirits as a general term for God, spirits on the side of God, and good angels. The general term for Satan and spirits on his side is “evil spirits.” … Over time, the works of a good spirit will increase a person’s sense of peace and righteousness and even improve his health. The works of evil spirits, on the contrary, will gradually lead to an increase of anxiety, fear, selfishness and cause his health to deteriorate.” (p. 71)
I leave no comment on this. I’m not spiritually open, so I can’t tell if something is happening because of spirits or otherwise. But I have seen people experience these effects countless times before. It is something to think about…
Ah, here are where things get really interesting. I’m sure you’ve heard this term so many times. Like, This is sinful or You’re a sinner or I’ve sinned! But I, and maybe you too, have never really known what this word means.
Well here is the definition that the Divine Principle gives: “Sin is a violation of heavenly law which is committed when a person forms a common base with Satan, thus setting a condition for give and take action with him.” (p. 72)
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve known this definition since I was a child. But after reading it over and over again, I still don’t really understand what sin is.
So there might be many different ways to explain it, but here’s one: Satan here is basically synonymous with selfishness. But is it always wrong to be selfish? No, not really. We’ve learned before what living for the sake of others is, and we learned that it’s not necessarily wrong to live for the sake of the individual. That is, as long as you have the mindset of ‘taking care of yourself so that you can take care of others.’
But what’s wrong is when you live for the sake of yourself at the expense of others. That’s a pretty fair line to draw on sin. But sin is a tricky thing to pinpoint, and this definition alone doesn’t cover all sins, perhaps. But it’s a definition that works for now.
The Divine Principle then goes on to say that there are four kinds of sins:
1) Original sin
This is the sin that we got from our first ancestors. It’s ingrained in our lineage and the root of all sins.
2) Hereditary sin
This is all the sins you inherit from your ancestors as by account of connection through lineage.
3) Collective sin
This is the sin for which a person is responsible as a member of a group. This ‘group’ could be one of race, ethnicity, religion, or otherwise.
4) Individual sin
This is sin that you commit yourself.
Everybody has original sin (there are exceptions, but that will be explained at a later time). But your accumulations of the other sins are different from person to person.
The Divine Principle likens these 4 sins to an analogy of a tree: the original sins are the roots, the hereditary sin is the trunk, the collective sin as the branches, and the individual sins as the leaves.
Why does this make sense? I guess because the original sin is the root of all sins; we can’t eradicate any of the other sins if we don’t eradicate the original sin. But the original sin can only be eradicated under certain circumstances—but that’s another topic for another day.
Sure, sin may be one reason why it’s so hard to do anything good. But fallen natures are another one. They first happened in the Human Fall, and these proclivities have become the fallen inclinations in all people.
It’s important to note that the fundamental motivation behind the Human Fall was the envy that the Archangel felt toward human beings.
But that statement does sound weird. If God created everything for a good purpose, how can there be envy?
It’s pretty simple: the Archangel had intellect and desires. With intellect, he could see that God loved human beings more than himself. With desire, he naturally yearned for God to love him more. This is basically envy/jealousy. The Divine Principle even says that “Envy is an inevitable byproduct of the original nature, like the shadow cast by an object in the light.” (p. 73)
So does this mean that even in an ideal world, there will still be envy? Yes. But: “after human beings reach perfection, however, they will never be induced to fall because of incidental envy. They know deep inside that the temporary gratification they might feel by attaining the object of their desire is not worth the agony of self-destruction that would ensue. Hence, they would never commit such crimes.” (p. 73)
In fact, if you really think about it, if we do live in an ideal world, will there ever be a need for progressing humanity? The Divine Principle explains that yes, “in this ideal world, the envious desires that arise incidentally from the original nature will be channeled into spurring the progress of humanity. They will never cause people to fall.” (p. 73)
So basically, envy is not inherently evil; it just depends on how you handle the envy.
But back to the fallen natures: because of the Archangel’s envy, this created the Human Fall and the primary characteristics of the fallen nature. They can be divided very broadly into 4 types:
1) Failing to take God’s standpoint
This happened when the Archangel, instead of seeing from God’s perspective and loving Adam like God did, the Archangel felt jealous of Adam. This led him to tempt Eve.
2) Leaving one’s proper position
This can be synonymous with “leaving one’s portion of responsibility.” This happened when the Archangel wanted more love and wanted to enjoy the same position of love he had in the angelic world. This led him to leave his proper position and fall.
3) Reversing dominion
This can be synonymous with “asserting yourself as the subject after leaving your proper position.” This happened when the angel, who was supposed to come under dominion (loving care) of human beings, dominated Eve instead. Then Eve, who was to at least consult with Adam or ask for his advice (under his dominion, or loving care), dominated him instead.
4) Multiplying the criminal act
This happened when Eve, who just fell with Lucifer, could have stopped right there. But instead, because of guilt and wanting to return to God, sje induced Adam to fall, too.
As you can see, one fallen nature leads to the other. The second, third, and fourth fallen natures all derive from the first.
Come to think about it, if something ‘bad’ is not considered a sin itself (or even if it is), it probably falls into one (or more) of these four categories. Let’s take some examples:
Bullying can be the first fallen nature (since you’re not seeing the person the way God sees him/her), and it can be the fourth fallen nature, multiplying ‘evil’.
Infidelity/disloyalty can be the second fallen nature, but you can definitely argue it is the first, too, because you’re not seeing your spouse/partner from God’s viewpoint.
Racism can be the third fallen nature (asserting that one race is better than the other).
Complaining can be the first fallen nature and the fourth fallen nature (spreading it to others).
Shifting blame can be the fourth fallen nature (spreading blame), and the first, too, I guess.
Lying can be the second fallen nature (not taking responsibility) as well as the first.
Rape can be the third fallen nature (asserting as the subject), second (not taking responsibility), and first.
Tardiness can be the second fallen nature (not taking responsibility).
You can do this with so many things. Come to think of it, pretty much all of these actions fall under the first fallen nature, because we might only see things from our own point of view and not consider others’.
The point is, we might not even notice we are doing some or many of these inclinations. The first step is to recognize that you have them, and be aware of your actions and other people.
God made love stronger than the principle, God didn’t intervene in the fall, and God gave us freedom; He had his reasons for all of these.
The Principle still remains the same, and our goals all remain the same (Three Blessings, Kingdom of Heaven, etc.). But accumulations of sin and fallen nature now make it so hard to achieve that goal.
And that basically sums up what went wrong. A lot went wrong, and it does show in the world today.
Sometimes I wonder if God could’ve designed a better system, while keeping His Principles the same (so there would still have to be our portion of responsibility, the Three Blessings, etc.). But maybe a bigger question to ask is: What now? How have we been fixing this in history, if at all? When will this all come to an end?
We’ve asked how things were meant to be and what went wrong. And now I guess we can tackle how we can fix it, or how we have been fixing it.
But that is a question to answer for the next post. As always, thanks for reading, and see you next post!
Like this? Share it.
Also sign up for the mailing list below. Only 2-4 emails a month.
Also like us on Facebook. Why? Why not?
Support mechanisms here.
Questions? Inquiries? Saying hi? Feel free to email [email protected]