While ignoring spirituality and being satisfied with reason and intellectual accomplishment, people have not been concerned about solving the urgent problems connected with their own ultimate purpose.—The Reverend Sun Myung Moon, ICUS XVI, Atlanta, Georgia
Absolute Values and the Reassessment of the Contemporary World
The complicated problems of the world cannot be fully understood simply within the narrow perspectives of individual fields of knowledge. Their solution is beyond the capability of any single specialized society of scholars. This is because the problems of the world are essentially the problems of the human being.
A human being has both a physical body with material desires and material senses and a spiritual self with spiritual desires and spiritual senses. The world is nothing but an extension of the human being with these two-fold aspects; in other words, the interrelationship of human beings with their two-fold aspects determines the order within societies and among nations. This is the reason why multi-disciplinary research for solving the world’s problems has to significantly consider such factors as religion, culture, art, and so on.
In order for ICUS to reassess today’s world, there should be a unifying standard and its central point. This central point should relate with the two-fold desires of the physical body and the spiritual self of the human being. I recognize that, in the Middle Ages, God-centered thoughts and religious dogmatism blocked scientific exploration and limited the physical fulfillment of human beings. However, it has been a big mistake for humanistic thinkers since the Age of Enlightenment to hold not only that religious belief is inferior to human reason, but also that humans’ spiritual demands are in conflict with human reason.
The emphasis which the Enlightenment or humanism put on rationality has been the great driving force for the sciences as they pursued the discovery of rational laws in nature. With reason only, however, we become separated from the ultimate purpose of the human being, who has a two-fold nature. Without this ultimate purpose, the human being cannot stand independently and even discover the right direction. While ignoring spirituality and being satisfied with reason and intellectual accomplishment, people have not been concerned about solving the urgent problems connected with their own ultimate purpose. As a result, they have come to be enthralled under materialism and so have lost their dignity.
Truth is one and is a principle ruling both nature and the human world. This principle in nature is the root and source of all things of the universe. This principle in the human being is the absolute values of love which guides us to complete our personalities through the harmony of our spirituality and physicality and to realize truth, goodness and beauty.