Volume V - (2003)

Heavenly Mother

Journal of Unification Studies Vol. 10, 2009 - Pages 73-104

Externally God resembles men and internally S/he resembles women. While God is strong, all-knowing, and omnipotent, S/he also has a merciful heart that can embroider flowers on Buddha's smile. S/he should also have a heart like that of the most feminine woman. Only then will these two sides have life. (206-49, 1990.10.3)[1]

Today as people seek for a more complete and rounded relationship to God, we are drawn to consider God's feminine nature. It is becoming more common to pray to God as Heavenly Mother. Divine Principle describes God as having "dual characteristics of yang and yin in perfect harmony" and as "the harmonious union of masculinity and femininity."[2] The creation of man and woman in the image of God (Gen. 1:27) carries the implication that God, as the Source and Model for both man and woman, should contain within His/Her being feminine qualities such as nurturing, responsiveness and mercy as well as masculine qualities such as strength, purposefulness and judgment.

Unificationists, like Christians generally, pray to God as Heavenly Father. The Divine Principle explains the priority of God's masculinity based upon the congruence of relationships between male and female, heaven and earth, internal and external. God in relation to the universe is male, and relates to the universe as "the subject partner having the qualities of internal nature and masculinity."[3] It asserts that God's masculine nature is primordial, existing prior to any relationship with the creation: "Before the creation God existed alone as the internal and masculine subject partner."[4]

In fact, Divine Principle evinces a tension between two different ways of looking at God: In one view, God is the unity of dual characteristics of masculinity and femininity, both having equal value. In the other view God's essence is masculine,[5] and He relates to the cosmos (mother Earth) and all creations as his feminine counterparts. On the one hand, a balanced view of God as the unity of the dual characteristics leads to the concept that God is best represented by the image of True Parents, a divine couple.[6] A married husband and wife in loving embrace represent the divine polarity. The family unit is thus a more complete reflection of God than a man or a woman singly. On the other hand, the concept that gives priority to God's masculinity can lead to a reification of unequal roles between man and woman in the family.

This paper will investigate the feminine dimensions of God, our Heavenly Mother. First, it will deal with the concept of masculinity and femininity as they are conceived in Unification texts, with a view towards establishing balance and equal value between them. Next, it will examine models of health, fulfillment and perfection for womankind in the family and society. We will be particularly concerned to delineate women's role in leadership, as such conceptions naturally connect with notions about the Divine Mother's way of leading Her children. Third, we will examine some reasons for the suppression or inadequate expression of the divine feminine. This, we will argue, is connected with the lack of suitable role-models in the course of providential history who could exemplify the fullness of womanhood. Finally, we will examine some of the damage that comes from not fully appreciating the femininity of God.

It can be concluded that even though in the providence of restoration God has presented Himself primarily as a masculine being, today as we seek to realize the full ideal of creation, it is now possible to appreciate Her femininity, with the goal of attaining perfect balance.

 

Concepts of Masculinity and Femininity in Unificationism

Relationality

The Divine Principle understands God's masculinity and femininity to be fundamentally relational. It begins from the premise that God's masculine and feminine aspects are complementary and always in relationship. The same is true for masculinity and femininity in the creation-they are fulfilled in relationship to one another: "Everything requires for its existence a reciprocal relationship between the dual characteristics of yang and yin."[7] Hence, taking the positions of husband and wife is fundamental to reflecting the image of God and unlocking the full potential of one's humanity:

Why, then, do we have to get married? It is because God exists in dual essentialities and men and women must reflect those essentialities. Therefore, men and women must come together and unite in total resemblance of God's image. That is why marriage is one essential factor in your total growth; without it, you would be crippled.[8]

This means that neither a man nor a woman exist for their own sake. Each human being is born for the sake of his or her counterpart of the opposite sex.

A woman is born to meet a man, and a man is born to meet a woman, are they not? This is the highest truth. Therefore, we should find the realm of blessing that conforms to this principle. (21-201, November 20, 1968)[9]

A husband needs his wife more than any other person in the world. The wife needs her husband more than any other person in the world. A husband and wife should be each other's walking stick, companions who are ever advising each other. (27:87, November 26, 1969)[10]

Once a man and women dwell together in a harmonious union as husband and wife, they create a base for God to dwell with them. This is the concept of the Four-Position Foundation in the Divine Principle.

It is only when a man and woman unite in matrimony that they can fully resemble God, who created us in His image male and female. Only then can God dwell with us. (70:76, February 8, 1974)[11]

When man and woman create harmony, they initiate circular movement. When man and woman become one body through love and bear the fruits of love, God comes down and they go up and they meet in the middle. God becomes the center of this sphere, and spherical movement begins. The center of the sphere is the place where harmony of love is realized. It is the place where life emerges and moves, and it is the starting point of human equality and communal philosophy.[12]

This concept of an ideal family explicitly includes God, who dwells at the center of the Four-Position Foundation: God, husband and wife, and children. God can dwell there because the love flowing among the family members in their duality as male and female mirrors the love flowing between God's dual characteristics of masculinity and femininity. This establishes resonance and spherical motion.

Complementarity

God's masculinity and femininity are not identical attributes, but different and complementary. When seen through the lens of human relationships between men and women, we find ourselves on somewhat shakier ground. We have to contend with cultural constructs of what are appropriate sex roles. However, there are some differences between men and women that are original and rooted in biology-a result of genetic expression, hormones, brain anatomy, and brain processes.[13] These biological differences are inherent in how men and women were created. Presumably they are expressions of the differences between God's own masculinity and femininity. Nevertheless, it is a challenge to discern what the original masculine and feminine qualities are.

Throughout history, men have used their superior size and strength to subjugate women. Rev. Moon rejects this tradition and declares that gender differences are meant to support a greater harmony of the whole:

Men and women are different. Men's muscles are rugged and women's are smooth. Men have beards while women do not. Their voices are also different. If we compare men and women, we see their contrasting features fit together well. Harmony unfolds between them.[14]

He also reminds us that woman have unique gifts that men cannot equal. Some qualities such as physical beauty and the ability to bear children are inherent in a female's biology and cause men to lift a woman above themselves. Just as important are a woman's unique inner qualities, especially her facility with the world of emotions by which to express love:

Is a woman a match for her husband in physical strength? Can she equal him in jumping? Externally, a man is better than a woman in many respects. Yet a woman is better in expressing love; this makes them equal. (209:208, November 29, 1990)[15]

Heaven and Earth

So far, so good; however, there is also the aspect of masculine-feminine complementar¬ity that should express the relationship between heaven and earth, because according to the Divine Principle, God is "the internal and masculine subject partner" who created the universe "as His external and feminine object partner."[16] This has been taken according to the traditional Oriental philosophy of the Book of Changes to mean that masculine qualities are the qualities of heaven: activity, creativity, light, joy, etc., while feminine qualities are the qualities of earth: passivity, receptivity, darkness, sorrow, etc. An example of this tendency is Dr. Sang Hun Lee's ideas about the masculine and feminine aspects of the human mind, or sungsang, which he describes in his several editions of Unification Thought (Table 1). According to Lee, women have more yin characteristics, and men have more yang characteristics.

Table 1: Positivity and Negativity as the Attributes of Sung Sang (Mind) and Hyung Sang (Physical Body) of Man[17]

 

Yang (Positivity)

Yin (Negativity)

Sung Sang (mind)

intellect

perspicacity, keen perceptiveness, imaginativeness, good memory

Obtuseness, dullness, unimaginativeness, poor memory

emotion

pleasantness, cheerfulness, brightness

Unpleasantness, melancholy, gloominess

will

activeness, decisiveness, creativeness

Passiveness, indecisiveness, conservativeness

Hyung Sang (physical body)

jutting part, protruding part, convex part, front side

sunken part, hollow part, concave part, back side

Since people of both sexes tend to prefer pleasantness, perspicacity and creativeness to the more negative qualities of gloominess, obtuseness and poor memory, it would seem fitting to regard masculine qualities as superior to feminine qualities, and hence men, who have more of these masculine qualities, as superior to women.

It may not have been Lee's intention to denigrate women in this way, but such is the logic of a concept that stems from the background of Chinese yin-yang philosophy. Thus according to the Book of Changes,

Heaven is high, the earth is low; thus the Creative and the Receptive are determined. In correspondence with this difference between low and high, inferior and superior places are established.[18]

Thus heaven is more exalted and honored, while the earth is lesser and lower. Heaven is light, while earth is dark. Heaven is active and earth is receptive, as sunlight shines and the fructifying rain falls from heaven to earth. In the Book of Changes, these two positions are symbolized by the hexagram for heaven, The Creative, and the hexagram for earth, The Receptive. Their relationship is said to be complementary because their interplay creates movement and development. Nevertheless, the distinction of these positions as having greater and lesser value is hard to avoid.

The understanding as interpreted in Unification Thought moves in the direction of assigning greater and lesser value. It can be critiqued on three grounds: First, there is no genuine complementarity. Genuine complementarity would regard masculine and feminine as mutually supportive, with each adding value to the other and to the whole. Yet when lack of a quality (e.g. poor memory) is posited as the complement to the quality (e.g. good memory), the relationship does not add value but only subtracts from the value of the whole. In order to have genuine complementarity, one should put forward an equal measure of high-value feminine qualities that are lacking on the masculine side. One can think of many, and in fact in a later edition of Unification Thought Lee includes "embracing nature" in his list of feminine attributes of the will.[19] Ideally there should be an equal proportion of attractive feminine attributes as there are attractive masculine attributes. This failing is due primarily to the background of Oriental culture, which has tended to devalue women.

Second, if we are to regard these human attributes as representative of God's masculine and feminine attributes, then it calls into question God's perfection. One cannot conceive that God in His/Her perfection is forgetful, or indecisive, or lacking in intellectual clarity. Nor would anyone desire such a God. On the other hand, if these masculine and feminine attributes of human character are to be understood as having no bearing on God's perfection (i.e. based on the Gnostic idea that the feminine attributes come from the creation, which is lower), then it violates the basic axiom that human beings are created in the image of God.

Third, this description of the qualities of Heaven and Earth stems from a Confucian concept of their relationship, which has a strong element of dependence. It is not the same as the relationship between God and creation as put forward in the Divine Principle, which is one of mutuality. In the Divine Principle, God is the source of both yang and yin as resultant attributes. This is incompatible with the traditional thought of TheBook of Changes, which identifies God/Heaven with yang and earth with yin.[20] In contrast to the Confucian concept of heaven as unceasingly pouring out its creative and life-giving qualities to the earth, whose nature is to receive those qualities, Divine Principle teaches that God is a Being with personality, who wants to value the Earth and its creatures as His object partners in a mutual relationship of love. If the attributes of creation are mainly seen as a lack of good qualities, then God is put in the pitiful position of constantly having to pour out His excellent qualities to remedy the creation's deficiencies. It is not the relationship which God desires, where the creation is God's good object partner, returning joy to Him.

It may be possible to interpret the Book of Changes from a consistent and thoroughgoing standpoint of complementarity. This would, I believe, be consistent with the Divine Principle. However, as can be seen from the way Unification Thought interprets the concept, the Unification Movement is deeply permeated by an Asian cultural model which reifies masculinity and femininity into poles having greater and lesser value. This is characteristic of many fallen cultures, whose patriarchal and misogynist tendencies can be seen as a result of Eve's sin and the Archangel's viewpoint.

The task remains to delineate the proper, original concept of complementarity among the masculine and feminine sides of the dual characteristics. This will open the way to appreciating the Original Femininity of God, which has nothing to do with deficiency or lack.

Mutuality

The Divine Principle provides another way of understanding masculine and feminine as the conjunction of heaven and earth, based on the principle of thoroughgoing mutuality and relationship. The relationship between subject and object positions is not fixed; rather it is mutable and eventually merges into a circle of giving. This applies equally to relationships between God and human beings, relationships between husband and wife, and relationships between humans and the natural world:

When the subject partner and the object partner become completely one in harmony, love is found within beauty and beauty is found within love... The subject partner sometimes acts as an object partner, and the object partner sometimes acts as a subject partner.[21]

For this mutuality to be fully realized, the object partner has to have qualities that can stimulate the subject partner. Humans should have attributes that stimulate and even surprise God. This is one deep reason why God gave human beings a five percent responsibility, to make them co-creators with God.[22] Likewise, women should have attributes of such excellence that their husbands willingly yield to their will as subject partners. The highest of these feminine attributes is, as was mentioned, sensitivity to love. Rev. Moon said:

From the point of view of creation, God is subject and you are object, but from the point of view of love you are subject and God is object. Therefore, according to this principle women are in a critical position. In terms of love women are in the subject position, truly the personification of love. Thus women are more equipped to be sensitive to love.[23]

This concept gives us a hint as to why God's femininity has been so eclipsed throughout providential history. The Human Fall came through false love and caused the loss of true love. Feminine aspects of love have suffered the most, as Rev. Moon states:

Because of the fall of Adam and Eve, we have lost the love of mother, the love of wife, and the love of younger sister. We have lost three great loves.[24]

In restoration, true love is the last thing to be restored. We first have to separate from Satan, restore our proper position, and then become united with God's heart and will. Only after these things are accomplished do we recover love. Women, who are "more equipped to be sensitive to love," find their full value when love is fully recovered. From this point of view also, God's deepest femininity, which is manifest as Heavenly Mother, only appears in full view at the very end of providential history, when human beings are in the process of recovering true love.

Vertical and Horizontal

The relationship between God and the created world, when applied to masculinity and femininity, sets them up with complementary attributes of vertical and horizontal. That is, God, as the masculine subject partner, is in the vertical position, while creation, as the feminine object partner, expands outward horizontally in myriad creatures. Hence, the traditional distinction between masculinity and femininity is often posited in this way: The masculine being is vertical, relating to God. The woman is in a horizontal relationship to her husband, and together with him they establish a vertical relationship to God.

God is a harmonious union of dual characteristics. At the same time, He is a masculine being. Since it is man who relates with God's fatherly love, a verti¬cal relationship is formed. Women do not form a vertical relationship. Instead, they form a horizontal relationship in partnership with the vertical. Observ¬ing the attributes of God's character, man relates vertically in a relationship of "above and below." Woman relates horizontally in a relationship of "left and right."

Which comes first, the vertical or the horizontal? Because the vertical comes first, all the principles of nature pursue and seek the path to draw close to that place. This is why the son comes before the daughter in relation to God's love. Only then will everything be arranged in order. (177-324, 1988.5.22)[25]

In the first place, this is interpreted to mean that generally a man is more concerned about vertical, public matters such as his mission and public responsibility, while the woman is watching out for horizontal matters, especially relationships and the environment around their family. A man finds his value in the context of that vertical relationship, by serving contributing to the public good. On the other hand, a woman who looks out for the children, the neighbors and people in the community tends to find the most value in the relationships themselves. Man and woman are said to experience value differently-a man based on vertical trust and respect for his accomplishments; a woman from the relationships with others that express caring and support.

In a traditional marriage, this enables a genuine partnership where the vertical and horizontal dimensions go together. The wife's horizontal efforts at building community complement the husband's vertical focus on his mission. The wife who supports her husband to make his public offering a success is just as much a part of that offering as he is. Although they have different roles, God regards their husband and wife partnership collectively.

This brings with it another traditional notion, that lineage (vertical) stems through the male. He offers the seed to the female, who then takes primary responsibility for nurturing and raising the child. She educates them to live harmoniously and according to the norms of the family, while her husband sets the example of public service and dedication to God's Will.

Nevertheless as we shall see, this paradigm does not square well with women who are called to take positions of leadership and public responsibility. We all know of couples where the wife has a greater public responsibility-in politics, business or in the church. In such cases, do not women find value in the vertical dimension of life? Heavenly Mother, whatever her "feminine" attributes, is still one face of the vertical God.

Perhaps the emergence of genuine female leadership represents the emancipation of femininity from its traditionally prescribed role to a more dynamic relationship where, in the words of Divine Principle, "when a subject partner and an object partner become one in a circular movement, the subject partner sometimes acts as the object partner, and the object partner sometimes acts as the subject partner."[26] The phenomena of women's liberation-to the point where they can experience their fullest value-may reflect the new reality of the Completed Testament Age, when as was stated, Heavenly Mother can fully manifest Herself.

Thus while the vertical masculine side came first, now at the end of the providence of restoration is the "last" days when the horizontal can appear in all its glory. From the time of Adam through the Second Coming, the central focus of the providence has been vertical-to restore the lineage of God. Rev. Moon took on this vertical responsibility as a filial son to Heavenly Father, and his ministry has focused on establishing the true lineage and eradicating Satan's false lineage. However, in this Age after the Coming of Heaven, now that God's lineage has been established, the focus of attention can move to establishing a life of true love among members of the human family. Those who take leadership in carrying out this work are taking on the horizontal responsibility of Heavenly Mother.

 

Heavenly Mother as Manifested through Women in Leadership

Some people take the above concepts of masculine and feminine as the basis for thinking that since the vertical should always lead the horizontal, women are not fit to be leaders and to take on public responsibilities. Yet the Divine Principle also affirms a subject position for both Adam and Eve in governing the things of creation.[27] This is in accordance with God's position as the Creator, who in His subjective masculine nature is King of all masculine beings, and in Her subjective feminine nature is Queen of all feminine beings. In taking after the image of God, the Principle affirms that God intends both men and women to take leadership roles.

Hence we can speak of different qualities of leadership: masculine leadership and feminine leadership, which may be further characterized as vertical leadership and horizontal leadership. These leadership roles are complementary and equally necessary. The ideal of a spherical society requires development along both axes, and both the vertical and the horizontal should be strengthened by able leadership. To encourage women to take up leadership roles in this "age of women," Rev. Moon has even assigned Unification women to male-dominated jobs like fishing boat captains.[28] Failure to recognize and promote women in leadership roles creates a barrier to recognizing Heavenly Mother.

First, there is leadership in the family. The most essential relationship between God and human beings is as Parent and children, and parents include both a mother and a father. Naturally the relationship with one's mother on earth is an earthly base of experience for relating to Heavenly Mother. Mothers represent Heavenly Mother; hence to honor one's mother is to honor God. In a mother the child receives his or her first experiences of unconditional, constant love which originates from God. In this vein, Rev. Moon says, "Motherhood is an unchanging principle. The entire universe revolves around motherhood." (143:52, March 15, 1986)[29]

However, God is more than our Parent; He is our King, and the full manifestation of God's authority is through His Kingship. Accordingly, we should also be able to recognize the ideal of Queenship, as it is manifest by women who exercise authority in leadership roles. In the Divine Principle, the complementary roles of mother and father in the family extend to leadership in larger levels of community, nation and world. This is Rev. Moon's concept of "Parentism," that leaders should take parental responsibility for those in their charge. Parentism calls upon society's leaders to act with the mind of true parents, to embrace and harmonize the people they serve. When the quality of true parental love infuses political discourse, disputes will be settled with civility and with an attitude to best serve all the people. This is the Three Subjects Principle-to act as a true parent in all leadership roles:

Someone who lives for others, caring for and sacrificing to serve others-in other words, a person who practices true love in daily life-can be called a true owner. Only someone who cares for all things in the creation with true love, protecting and nurturing them, can become a true owner of all creation... The president of a company who loves and cares for all his employees with a parental heart is the true owner of that company. Only the president of nation that loves its citizens like a parent who caringly raises his or her children, and who shares the sorrows and joys of life with them, can become the true owner of that nation.[30]

In speaking of Parentism, when the Divine Principle describes the great universal family-"a family can be formed only when there is a father and a mother; only then can true brotherly love arise"[31]-it includes both a father and a mother. A well-functioning family requires two parents; a single parent cannot do as well at raising children. A father and mother offer different kinds of love that are complementary: A father's love tends to be conditional; he rewards performance and encourages his children to strive for success in life. A mother's love tends to be unconditional; she embraces and values her children for their essence, regardless of what they do; she also values close relationships among the siblings. Children need both kinds of love for optimum development. Likewise, well-governed companies and nations should have a balance of men and women leaders. Just as fathers and mothers parent their children in different ways, there will be differences between the ways that men and women lead.

Table 2: Male and Female Leadership Styles

 

Male Leadership Styles

Female Leadership Styles

General

Vertical focus

Horizontal focus

Mission orientation

People orientation

Focus on goals and performance

Concern about relationships

Gives priority to success, profit.

Gives priority on institutional health and employee well-being

Relating with subordinates

Top-down leadership: gives direction and expects obedience

Collegial leadership: promotes discussion and elicits creative input

Expects subordinates to be worthy and promotes on merit

Compassion and care for weak members to create sense of family and inclusion

Motivates subordinates to have confidence and determination

Respects subordinates; builds cooperation and teamwork

Ministry Roles

Teaching, ministry of the Word

Listening, ministry of presence

Make an offering acceptable to God

Promote enduring relationships

Evangelism and church planting

Counseling, chaplaincy, itinerary work

 

Women leaders bring unique perspectives and gifts to their role that can greatly benefit society. In this regard, Rev. Moon has called for women to take up leadership roles:

The age of women has arrived. Now we women throughout the world should create a movement for the practice of true love. It begins by embracing our husbands and properly educating our children... and it expands as we women take up leadership roles in the political arena, in business, in culture and the arts, in society and so on, to work for world peace. (April 10, 1992)[32]

Women bring to leadership their gifts in promoting harmony, cooperation and teamwork. They seek buy-in and solidarity for new programs, as for example Sen. Hilary Clinton in her "listening tours." They also tend to work by promoting discussion and shared ownership, in contrast to the male style of giving directions and expecting obedience. In a church setting, the typical male roles are teaching and preaching-subject roles in which the preacher represents God, while the women are more adept at listening-the ministry of presence, and the ministry of reconciliation. The feminine desire to build enduring relationships in the horizontal realm contrasts with the masculine focus on the vertical-on making an offering acceptable to God. Some contrasts between male and female leadership styles are presented in Table 2.

The balance and complementarity of men's and women's leadership is exemplified in the central ritual of the Unification Church, the Blessing, which is officiated by Rev. and Mrs. Moon (or their representatives) standing side-by-side as a couple. A church led by a pastor couple, with both the pastor and his/her spouse playing a role in preaching, teaching and public worship, exemplifies the ideal of society as a family writ large.

What does women leadership have to do with Heavenly Mother? Our image of God is formed through our parents and our leaders, people in authority whom we look up to and respect. Their qualities are the qualities we impute to God. Since God can relate to human beings only according to their base of understanding what God is, the image we have of God in our minds cannot easily transcend our culturally formed concept of authority figures. Therefore, in order to know God in His/Her truest sense, human beings should relate to earthly representatives who fully manifest His/Her divine heart and character. On behalf of all the people, that they might more truly know God, leaders should themselves strive to manifest God. As Rev. Moon puts it:

To perfect the Three Great Subject Partners Principle, we must become like God Himself. We must have a heart that is like God's and love other people and all creation on the basis of His absolute standard, just as He does.[33]

If the only people in authority are men, then inevitably we will have an image of God as a male. Sadly, until recent times, exemplars of women in leadership have been few and far between. The exceptional women of history had to cope with the prejudices of a man's world; e.g., Joan of Arc was murdered for heresy and Queen Elizabeth I chose to remain unmarried.

 

Heavenly Mother Manifest in the Trinity: The Horizontal True Parents

According to the Divine Principle, God's purpose for creation would be fulfilled by Adam and Eve, had they grown to perfection without falling. Then they would have manifested in their family the complete form of the Triune God. From the beginning, God's dual masculine and feminine nature would have been completely incarnate on the earth:

Originally, God's purpose for creating Adam and Eve was to form a trinity by raising them to be the True Parents of humankind united in harmonious oneness as husband and wife centered on God in a four position foundation. If Adam and Eve had not fallen, but had formed this trinity with God and become the True Parents who could multiply good children, their descendants would have also become good husbands and wives with God as the center of their lives. Each couple would thus have formed a trinity with God.[34]

In that case, Adam and Eve would have been the visible incarnations of God. In Adam we would be able to see God's masculine self, and in Eve we would be able to see God's feminine self. This pattern was to be repeated in every family. Good men and women who joined in marriage in God's true love were to become "horizontal true parents" in perfect alignment with God, the "vertical True Parent." In the words of Rev. Moon:

At the marriage of Adam and Eve, God would enter into their hearts and experience with them the love of their conjugal union. Then God would be the vertical True Parent, and Adam and Eve the horizontal True Parents. Because each of us would be born with the blood and flesh of these two sets of parents, our minds would be aligned with the vertical and our bodies with the horizontal.

This would form the realm of the harmonious oneness of God and human beings in love... As man and woman, each being a half of the whole, we would come together to form one body; and as God's partners we would perfect the ideal of divine love. (254:106, February 1, 1994) [35]

In Adam and Eve, had they not fallen, both Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother were to be manifest:

God takes the form of both Adam and Eve. God is the internal Father embodied in Adam the external father; God is the internal Mother embodied in Eve the external mother. (199:361, February 21, 1990) [36]

However, this purpose was never realized because Adam and Eve fell. Thus in Old Testament history, God was revealed mainly in masculine roles of king and a judge. He/She did not manifest the internal role of Father, or the even more internal role of Mother, except as the prophets occasionally gave expression to Her motherly heart (Hos. 11:1-4)

In the course of the providence, Jesus appeared and realized the ideal of human perfection-as a male being. But he was not accompanied by a female counterpart on earth. As the horizontal True Parent, Jesus is rightly called the "Everlasting Father" (Isa. 9:6). Furthermore, by the spirit of Christ we come to address God as "Abba, Father" (Gal. 4:6). To complete the manifestation of horizontal True Parents, substituting for Christ's physical Bride God sent the Holy Spirit, who is, however, without form. Hence, her female gender is not usually recognized in the Christian church. Instead, the Holy Spirit is understood to be a masculine being, taking after the masculine nature of God and Christ.

Hence, Christians understand God to be Heavenly Father. Jesus is male. The Holy Spirit is considered male-unlike Rev. Moon's teaching that Her role is that of Eve and the divine Mother:

Jesus came as the manifestation of God's concept of true Adam, but no one was raised up to manifest God's concept of Eve. For this reason the Holy Spirit comes in the role of spiritual Mother. (April 18, 1977)[37]

Conventionally there is not thought to be any female manifestation of God embedded in the Trinity, which is conceived of as entirely male. Protestants thus lack any feminine expression of the Godhead, while Catholics have elevated Mary, whom they worship as the "Mother of God."

 

Suppression of the Divine Feminine

Eve's Double Sin

God's intention to manifest Him/Herself through Adam and Eve throws into high relief the damage caused by the Fall of man. Eve sinned twice: first with Lucifer and then with Adam. Therefore, conventionally she is judged as doubly guilty. As Adam accused Eve for causing him to fall, male-female relations have been infected by the accusation that women are more inclined to promiscuity and sin. In Eve, women lost their true value.

While Rev. Moon affirms that women pay indemnity for Eve's sin, this accusation should in no wise be used to justify a double standard that excuses male infidelity while strictly holding women to sexual purity. Hence, he balances it by setting out the concept that women are mistreated because fallen men have been degraded to the status of archangels:

To this day, have women been mistreated or honored? Have they been punished for being seductive? Yes, but that was not the chief reason. The reason women suffer is because their husbands are not their true husbands. Fallen men are in the position of archangels... like the archangel Lucifer at the Fall.[38]

Thus, women suffer because fallen men are inclined to repeat the archangel's abuse of Eve. Archangels are not created with spouses; they do not know or value the female gender. Lucifer seduced Eve not with the mind to love her but with the mind to use her love to dominate Adam and defeat God's purposes. Thus according to the Bible, the Human Fall degraded male-female relations by setting up men to accuse women (Gen. 3:12) and at the same time to have dominion over them (Gen. 3:16). From that point on, men have regarded women as mere property, to be used for their purposes-chiefly to perpetuate the lineage. Furthermore, from a heavenly standpoint, such mistreatment of women is equally a symptom of men's spiritual degradation, as they had come to resemble the Archangel more than a True Man.

From this starting-point, the divine love of Heavenly Mother, which is to be manifest in a true woman as she participates in a true love relationship with a true man, was lost.

Lack of Women Saints to Represent God's Femininity

Throughout the course of providential history, God has been working to restore men and women to their original state. Nevertheless, in the spirit world there are few women saints who can properly represent God's femininity. This is due to several factors.

First, the providence has been led by men, whose accomplishments are recorded in scripture. After the Fall, the primary focus of the providence of restoration was to lay the foundation for the Messiah, who was to come as the new Adam. Since the Messiah is a man, God of necessity called men who could lay the foundation for his coming. Therefore men like Noah, Abraham, Moses and David are featured prominently in scripture, while women are relegated to secondary roles. This was never God's ideal concept of the woman's role. Rev. Moon said,

In biblical history women had no rights and the men assumed the major role in God's dispensation, but that was an extreme situation.[39]

Second, there have not, conversely, been many victorious women saints who are respected in the realm of religion for their accomplishments as individuals. For Unificationists the list is very short: Tamar and Mary. Other famous women saints contributed to the victory of others, e.g. though mother-son cooperation: Sarah, Rebecca and Zipporah.

Third, the Principle shines a spotlight on feminine rivalry-Rachel and Leah, Mary and Elizabeth-and concludes that these providential women did not restore the all-important foundation of substance for the feminine gender. Jacob and Esau were successful on the masculine side, but the providential women on the feminine side were unsuccessful.

 

Women's Role in Advancing the Lineage

In reviewing the contributions of Tamar and Mary, we find that they are honored for advancing the lineage. They offered their wombs. This was a crucial role, because the goal of the providence of restoration was to establish the lineage for the Second Adam. Nevertheless, conceiving and bearing a child is only a small part of a woman's experience. The fullness of a woman's reality is to love as a daughter, a wife and a mother, participating with her entire being in raising her family.

Tamar

Consider Tamar. After she risked her life to bear Judah's children, the Bible states, "he did not sleep with her again." (Gen. 38:26) Clearly, Judah never married her, which would have been proper to fulfill the responsibility of next-of-kin according to the Levirate Law after he did not give her Shelah (Gen. 38:8-11; Deut 25:5-6). Tamar was left to raise her sons Perez and Zerah by herself without any help from Judah, even though he was their father. Tamar was victorious in the matter of lineage, but as a woman she suffered from abandonment and loneliness.

Perhaps this is why, despite her accomplishments for the lineage, in the Judeo-Christian tradition Tamar is not well-known as a woman saint. She has never been one whom Jews and Christians have looked up to as representing the highest qualities of womanhood, or as revealing in her person the feminine aspects of God.

Mary

Mother Mary, on the other hand, is "blessed among women" in the Christian tradition. She is a woman whose feminine qualities of purity, devotion and maternal love have inspired countless millions with devotion and even worship. She reveals to them much of the character of Heavenly Mother. She is less well esteemed in the Unificationist tradition, because despite her accomplishments in bearing and raising Jesus, she failed to provide him with a bride. In other words, from the standpoint of a woman's role in continuing the lineage, Mary started well but ended poorly. Because of her failure, the Second Adam's lineage did not continue beyond Jesus. Unification theology judges Mary strictly regarding her role in advancing the lineage, and nothing else. It has a limited view of her value.

This is a pity for Unificationists, as Mary the mother of Jesus is the leading representative of women in the Christian spirit world. From Lourdes to Fatima and Medjugorje, her apparitions have inspired millions of the faithful. She is honored for womanly qualities of devotion, obedience and purity, for her motherly sacrifice for the sake of her Son which she displayed during her earthly life, and also for her guidance, inspiration and healing power which she displays as a spiritual saint. She has gone a long way to indemnifying her earthly failings, and she has carried out her mission with unflagging zeal for the Christian multitudes. In Mary, Heavenly Mother found an object partner through which to manifest Her glory to earth.

Furthermore, the Unificationist reading of scripture has Mary disappearing from Jesus' life after he begins his public ministry, based on incidents such as Mark 3:31-35 where Jesus rejects his mother and brothers in favor of the disciples, and the wedding at Cana where Jesus rebuked his mother for not understanding his mission, "Woman, what have you to do with me?" (John 2:4). Nevertheless, a close reading of the Bible indicates that mother Mary stood by Jesus at the cross (John 19:25-27) and was with the disciples in the upper room (Acts 1:14). She brought with her Jesus' brothers, including James the Just who became the leader of the Jerusalem church. In short, Mary supported Jesus through thick and thin. She united her family with the resurrected Christ. Jesus loved her as well, and in the hour of his death he appointed one of his disciples to care for her in her old age (John 19:27).

Unificationists are accustomed to reading stories like Mark 3 and John 2 as condemna¬tions of Mary. Yet the fact that Mary stayed with Jesus suggests that we should read these words within the context of the enduring and complicated bond between a mother and her exceptional son. Also, the Bible does not explain Mary's side of the story or what heart she was feeling at the time. One can only imagine that she wanted what she thought was the best for her son, and that she approached him in all innocence, although also in ignorance of the parameters of her son's divine mission. When according to Mark, 'his family... went out to seize him, for people were saying, "He is crazy"' (Mark 3:21), Mary may have thought she was right in trying to protect Jesus from the angry crowds. When they were standing outside asking for Jesus (Mark 3:31), Mary may have intended to give him some good motherly advice-but which from Jesus' viewpoint was counter-productive to his mission.

Again, when Mary asked Jesus to turn water into wine for the wedding at Cana, she may have been thinking that if Jesus added life to the party, he might attract notice from a potential wife. In other words, despite her failure to procure the bride of Jesus' choice-and unaware of the providential requirement that the choice entailed-Mary never stopped thinking about her responsibility to marry off her son. Even if Jesus had harsh words for Mary (John 2:4) because she misunderstood the will of God, that doesn't mean that she stopped loving her son and helping him as best she could.

 

Struggles of the Matriarchs of Israel

The matriarchs of Israel are often praised as exemplary women. While it may have been God's intention to display the ideal of true womanhood through the matriarchs, they mostly lived in the shadow of their husbands. Their lives also were flawed, and they were beset by struggles and setbacks. For these reasons, they are not normally regarded as saints who could manifest the divine feminine in all Her fullness. Yet their victories deserve to be better appreciated.

Sarah

Sarah supported her husband Abraham through thick and thin, enduring hardship as he traveled to Canaan. For his sake she jeopardized her purity by posing as his sister. Some have criticized Abraham for putting Sarah in jeopardy out of cowardly and self-interested motives, yet regardless she obeyed. This may be seen as an example of how Abraham and Sarah both accepted a culture that had a degraded concept of feminine value, one in which women found their meaning in life by supporting their husbands. So in any event, Sarah was taken by Pharaoh's men and brought into his harem.[40] Yet by Sarah faith-not Abraham's faith, for the text says that God afflicted Pharaoh "because of Sarai, Abram's wife" (Gen. 12:17)-she could be rescued by the hand of God.

Yet after years of being unable to conceive Sarah lost faith, and she gave Abraham her servant Hagar as a concubine to bear the child she could not give him. How she rued that day! The Bible reads that Hagar "looked on [Sarah] with contempt" (Gen. 16:5). Hagar could please Abraham in ways that the elderly Sarah could not, for she had a fertile womb and a young body. Sarah, who had already felt her status as the ancestress of Israel threatened by her infertility, now felt doubly wounded, as well she should. She had lowered her value by yielding her bed to a servant, thus repeating the Fall. Sarah's faithlessness in this matter, however, should be seen in the context of her husband Abraham's previous failure in the offering. The lack of a strong and upright husband to lead the way weakened Sarah at a time when her faith was tested, and she could not overcome the trial.

Furthermore, Sarah sent the rival wife away, initiating a Cain-Abel rivalry on the female side. Sarah had been called to assume the position of restored Eve, and to display in her virtue a semblance of the divine ideal of womanhood. But by these actions she compromised that position. Nor did Abraham correct her when he had the chance (Gen. 16:6, 21:11).

Afterwards, when Abraham took their son Isaac to Mount Moriah, did he tell Sarah what he was about to do? Undoubtedly he kept it a secret from her. She would have vehemently opposed him if she knew. At this most critical point in Abraham's life, he had to leave Sarah behind. The providence was in the hands of the men, Abraham and Isaac. Nevertheless, Sarah can be credited with having raised her son Isaac well. Unlike Noah's wife who communicated faithlessness and doubt to her son Ham, Sarah maintained her steadfast devotion to God and respect for her husband, and she taught Isaac by her words and example to do the same.

Rebekah

Rebekah was an exemplary mother in Israel, who knew God and received His revelations (Gen. 25:23). Her wisdom in managing the affairs of her husband and children make her a shining example of womanhood. Her husband Isaac loved her (Gen. 24:67, 26:8), and she was obedient to him in the matter of acting as his sister (Gen. 26:7). Yet apparently he did not always respect her in matters of God. Specifically, Isaac did not believe the words that God spoke to her about his younger son Jacob inheriting the birthright. His preference for Esau necessitated that Rebekah act secretly and deceptively towards her husband. In other words, there was a certain distance of heart and mind between Rebecca and her husband, who did not properly appreciate her value as a woman of God.

Isaac's preference for Esau over Jacob represented the admiration he had for his elder brother Ishmael-a remnant of the sibling conflict that had not been resolved in his generation because his mother had sent Ishmael away. Rebekah understood his admiration to be off-center and contrary to God's will, and she acted to overcome it by promoting Jacob in the Abel position. In this way, by using indirection, Rebekah restored certain aspects of Sarah's mistake and the original mistake of Eve. In speaking of Rebekah's courage¬ous actions, Rev. Moon remarks:

A woman, Eve, fell by uniting with the archangel. She denied her father God and Adam her intended husband. Therefore women, be on your guard! You should expect to take the lead in the course of restoration; you will go first on this path ahead of the men. Woman must rise up who can face down opposition from their fathers and their husbands in the satanic world. (89:208, November 22, 1976)[41]

Rebekah can be credited as the first woman in the providence to actually lead her husband, who had strayed from God's Will. Thus it can be said of her that she made great strides to advance feminine value and lay a foundation for the appearance of Heavenly Mother.

Leah and Rachel

Nevertheless, Sarah's transgression of the Will-in giving Abraham the concubine Hagar-made it necessary for Jacob to put up with rival wives in order to restore that mistake through indemnity. Nevertheless, although Jacob victoriously laid the foundation of substance in reconciling with Esau, his wives Leah and Rachel quarreled and struggled with one another without ever reconciling. Rachel had Jacob's love, but Leah produced the children and ran the family from her position as first wife. Their struggle continued until Rachel's untimely death. Their unresolved Cain/Abel conflict diminished both women and made them less than perfect object partners for the manifestation of the divine feminine. And because the mistake of Sarah/Hagar was not resolved but rather extended into another generation of rival wives (Rachel/Leah and their concubines), the problem continued to plague the lives of their children: Joseph the son of Rachel was sold into slavery by the sons of Leah.

While Unificationists are accustomed to praising Jacob as the first victor in the providence, they often overlook the discord among his wives and children. This is the province of Heavenly Mother, who is most sensitive to expressions of love. Any mother feels sorrow when her children quarrel; how much more so Heavenly Mother, to see the discord among the wives and children of the first victor in providential history.

The way these brothers treated Joseph was shameful in the extreme. Benjamin, the other son of the Abel wife Rachel, did not fare much better. He could have claimed the birthright as the ancestor of the Messiah after Joseph disqualified himself by marrying an Egyptian (Gen. 41:45), but he lost his birthright to Judah, the dominant son from Leah's side. This process played out later on the tribal level when the tribe of Benjamin was almost annihilated by the other tribes (Judg. 20), and again national level when King Saul from the tribe of Benjamin was supplanted by David who was from the tribe of Judah. The grief of Heavenly Mother over the discord in Jacob's family included foreknowledge of how that disunity would play out in the suffering of later generations.

 

The Suffering Women of God

The women in the Bible suffered with unresolved resentments and griefs even as the providence moved forward by the victories of men. In a world of men they were often pawns, unable to move except as the men around them permitted. Hence, none of them could fully manifest God's feminine nature. At the same time, by understanding their suffering and pain, we can come to better appreciate the grief of Heavenly Mother, for She knows the sadness of womanhood better than any earthly person.

Bathsheba

Bathsheba, for example, was comfortably married to Uriah when King David snatched her up and lay with her. David was king, his command was law, and she had no choice in the matter. Yet many people think that she knowingly bathed on the roof to seduce the king with her beauty! This prejudicial view of Bathsheba contradicts the biblical text. Nathan in his parable likens Bathsheba to property, the ewe lamb that was seized by the rich man. He metaphorically describes Bathsheba and Uriah's love: "She would drink from his cup and lie in his bosom, and she was like a daughter to him." (2 Sam. 12:3-4). Thus the prophet held David entirely responsible for the affair.

Bathsheba had a right to be aggrieved. Not only did David by indulging his lust rob her of her husband; he also caused the death of her child (2 Sam. 12:18). Rev. Moon praises Bathsheba's attitude in front of the man whom she easily could have hated in her heart:

Bathsheba had cause to hate King David. But if she had, she could not have become the mother of King Solomon. She could have hated King David for intentionally sending her husband Uriah to the battlefield to be killed and taking her as his wife, but she accepted it as her fate, or rather as Heaven's will. In other words, she believed that King David's act was not done out of ill intent, but rather to fulfill a greater purpose of God. Further, Bathsheba was a patriot who prayed for her nation to be victorious even if her husband Uriah might have to make the ultimate sacrifice.

Bathsheba thought that although her husband was killed, it was honorable for him to die as a loyal subject. Moreover, it was to his honor that she accepted being offered to the king with joy. She had such a high-standard viewpoint. She thought, "It is my duty to my husband that I offer myself to the king with loyalty and devotion." With this attitude, she married King David. On this foundation, she could give birth to King Solomon. (40:97, January 24, 1971)[42]

Bathsheba placed duty ahead of her emotions. Many women of God have gone this course, suppressing their feelings while marching forward to fulfill God's request with loyalty and devotion. We noted that Tamar, who with trembling hands waited for Judah by the side of the road, suppressed every ounce of honor and self-respect to act the part of a prostitute for the sake of the lineage. Afterwards, she most likely expected that Judah would have cared for her as his wife and the mother of his children, but he did not. Although Judah acknowledged, "she is more righteous than I" (Gen. 38:26), he continued to treat her with disdain. Tamar, like Bathsheba, had to bear the cross of love. Her feelings did not matter in a man's world.

John the Baptist's Sister

John the Baptist's sister is another woman who suffered in a male-dominated world. Rev. Moon has mentioned her as the intended bride for Jesus.[43] As such, she must have been destined from birth to become the True Mother of all humankind. To get some idea of her mindset, we can think of how Hak Ja Han was prepared from childhood for her role as True Mother. Her mother, Soon Ae Hong, was a member of a spiritual group that was devotedly preparing for the Second Coming. At the age of six a spiritualist from that group told her that she would be the Bride of Christ. When the proposal came from Father, she said, "Who am I to decide whether this is good or bad? So far my life has been governed directly by God. Whatever the will of God, whatever His purpose or dispensation, I shall be His servant. I shall obey in everything."[44] True Mother had thus been well prepared to have an exemplary attitude as the future Bride of Christ.

We can surmise that John the Baptist's sister had been similarly prepared, with revelations about her role. Rev. Moon said, "God chose Zechariah's family as the foremost representatives of the entire world."[45] Her mother Elizabeth, whose position as parallel to Grandmother Hong, would have been aware that God had chosen her daughter for a special destiny and would have raised her with that end in mind. Nevertheless, the marriage never came. Her father Zechariah was unwilling to offer her to Jesus, leaving her to languish at home. She went on presumably to marry someone else, raise a family and lead an ordinary life; meanwhile she had to suppress all those unfulfilled hopes and dreams. Still, her mother Elizabeth and Mary would have talked. She would have known about Jesus and watched him from afar as his ministry grew and then was crushed by the authorities. Here was a woman whose value was to be as the Mother of the universe, and yet she could realize almost none of her value. Can we fathom the feeling of frustration, emptiness and futility she must have felt, as she saw the promise of her life betrayed and the purpose of her life wasted?

The Bible was written from a male perspective, and these glimpses of the women's side of the story are often hidden from view. Looking at the struggles and shortcomings in almost every biblical family (with the possible exception of Ruth and Boaz), it is evident that the providential women of the Bible mostly suffered in silence. Mothers as a rule do not convey their personal suffering to their children. They have to lock away their hearts to deal with the dysfunction of their families and hopefully leave a better life for the next generation. Yet when emotional issues are not resolved in one generation, the next generation is burdened with the same. Hence the suffering goes on, seemingly with no end.

Furthermore, when women are pushed into the background and denied a public forum, they often find it difficult to express their inmost hearts. They grew accustomed to finding value through the men around them and letting them do the talking. They understood God's Will for them was to support the providence through their husbands. Yet men cannot fathom the heart of women. They cannot address or solve women's deepest sorrows. These biblical women had to leave unresolved issues of love and relationship for some time in the indefinite future as they soldiered on for the will of God.

True Mother

Some of these situations likewise played out in Hak Ja Han's course as True Mother. She had to pass through an unbelievable indemnity course to be acknowledged as the rightful Bride of the Messiah and True Mother of humanity. She had to follow God's public will absolutely and without complaint. She was victorious in uniting absolutely with her husband and thus restored the position of Eve. Yet meanwhile she suffered internally as a wife and mother. She saw her children struggle and yet was not often in a position to help them. On this matter, her daughter Ye Jin Moon wrote:

Because of the providential requirement, she had to have many children, yet, how much she would have wanted to invest her maternal heart in each child. Oftentimes she could not because of the position she held, and because of Father's emphasis on loving the "Cain" position children [his disciples] first. The Cain position children were the priority. But how much would Mother, who had carried all those children in her womb, have wanted to express her love to each child, had she been in a regular family situation. As a woman who bore and nurtured children, I can empathize with Mother's maternal, suffering heart.[46]

Like the providential women who preceded her, True Mother has rarely spoken about her own perspective on her family, the difficulties her children have faced, and her painful emotions in dealing with these circumstances. We have little understanding or appreciation of her suffering.

In theological terms True Mother stands to represent Heavenly Mother before all humankind. She is the incarnation of God's femininity, the female side of the "horizontal True Parents." This is manifest in spiritual experiences as she reveals Heavenly Mother to the people.

When you go to the spirit world, you will not only have a Heavenly Father but also a Heavenly Mother. Can a new life be born without both a father and a mother? The dual characteristics of God are as divine Father and Mother, who were to be united as one in Adam and Eve. Therefore, we can say that through either our father or our mother there lies a gate to heaven...

Hence, in the Unification Church...you have spiritual experiences where I, Reverend Moon, appear in your visions or dreams, and so does True Mother. You can experience that Mother and I are truly living with you throughout your life. You should know that He can appear in the image of True Father and True Mother, to show Himself to His children throughout the world. (90:196-97, January 1, 1977)[47]

Aside from these symbolic manifestations in dreams and visions, True Mother's earthly role has been almost entirely subsumed in supporting her husband and his mission. To fully unite with her husband she could do nothing less, living by a demanding schedule that included numerous national and world-wide speaking tours. This interfered with her role as the natural mother of her children, as she followed True Father's strict principle of loving the "Cain children"-church members-more than her own children. Even as she has been faithful to the providential requirements during the course of restoration, these very requirements restricted her ability to manifest the full extent of Heavenly Mother's attributes and values.

 

Heavenly Mother's Grief

This survey of the suffering women of God can give a glimpse of Heavenly Mother's heart of grief. Like these women, She has remained in the background, while God has appeared throughout history in His Masculine aspect. Hence, in the Old Testament Age, when Israel relied on a deity of power and might to preserve them from their enemies, God appeared accordingly as a masculine Being: Almighty God, the Divine Warrior, and omnipotent King of the Universe. God raised Israel in the manner of a King, giving laws and commandments to live by and disciplining them with His judgments. Then in the New Testament Age, God could draw near us through His incarnation in Jesus Christ. Jesus was a male who best represented God's masculine aspect as Heavenly Father. There was little basis on earth to relate to God as Heavenly Mother.

Furthermore, the providence of restoration has focused on sacrifice and making conditions for the restoration of the heavenly lineage. In that situation, motherly concerns for harmony and cooperation took second place to vertical conditions to separate from Satan and establish the foundation for the Messiah. Accordingly God appeared as Heavenly Father to urge His children to heights of faith and sacrifice. The heroes of faith bore the suffering that their sacrifices required, and accordingly received the Father's approval. Behind the scenes Heavenly Mother grieved, weeping rivers of tears for the suffering of Her children and the collateral suffering of their families. Yet to protect the providence and to respect the offering of the saints, She couldn't show Her face.

In addition, as discussed above, the women of the providence were rarely recognized for their victories of faith and substance. Even their triumphs were obscured by the Bible with its male orientation, leaving the multitudes with no way to appreciate these women or what they had done. As a result, Heavenly Mother has never had an object partner on earth who could properly manifest Her essential nature. Jesus could confidently say, "He who has seen me has seen the Father" (John 14:9), but no woman appeared on earth who could proudly proclaim, "He who has seen me has seen the Mother... I am in the Mother and the Mother in me." Heavenly Mother grieves for the lack of object partners who can commiserate with Her heart.

The love of Heavenly Mother is unconditional and all-embracing, reaching to the sinner as well as the saint. Yet in a masculine-oriented world that values accomplishment and punishes failure, those who finish last are left without any succor or help. If they have a relationship with Mother God, they would know that She loves them regardless. They will find Her sitting beside them, weeping with them, comforting them, and urging them to try again. But when people are unable to receive God's comfort and love in this manner, Mother God feels cut off, feeling the suffering of Her children yet unable to comfort them. This creates incredible congestion and frustration in Her heart.

Further Consequences of the Loss of Heavenly Mother

Loss of Heavenly Mother's presence has had a number of other baneful consequences for people on earth. First, I would argue that knowing Heavenly Mother is necessary for fulfilling the ideal of creation-achieving the Three Great Blessings. With Heavenly Father we think of the mission, the providence and the goals of restoration. Yet the full expression of the ideal of creation, the Three Great Blessings, is realized in the family and in all the spherical relationships of life. A spherical relationship respects people in all positions: up and down, left and right, front and back. Some of those positions may be mission-related, but others are not. God's feminine aspect looks for value in harmonious relationships. To the man or woman who goes forth eagerly to do the mission, Heavenly Mother cautions: "before you go forward, check to see that your spouse and all your children are with you." Every relationship should be an opportunity for God to be present, as we honor the divinity of another and present them with the divinity in us. Thus, lacking a balanced relationship with God that includes Her feminine aspect has inhibited humanity from achieving the ideal of creation.

A second consequence afflicts especially women: many women feel unworthy of love. A woman's sense of self-love is an important foundation for feminine value. Heavenly Mother can provide this sense of self-worth. Yet in a world dominated by men, where women are expected to always live for the sake of others, they risk the danger of so emptying themselves that they have nothing of themselves to give. If there were an ideal balance between Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother, earthly women would have a better sense of their worth. They would know that they were vessels for Heavenly Mother's love, and would know how to tap that reservoir of love in order to give love more abundantly.

However, when sisters see God mainly as a demanding Father figure, they may find themselves unworthy to look Him in the eye. A disconnect results. Even though Heavenly Mother looks on them lovingly and offers them every consideration, if women are unable to meet Her gaze, they cannot receive Her love. Hence Heavenly Mother feels like She is suffocating. The more She tries to comfort them, the more She feels their pain, the more Her love builds up. But it has nowhere to go because they cannot receive it. God's femininity is drowning in love, while Her object partners on earth languish, feeling isolated and unappreciated in the fallen male world.

A third consequence of the loss of Heavenly Mother is the widespread failure to recognize God's presence in the day-to-day activities of life. Heavenly Mother stands for God's presence in the affairs of hearth and home, including the intimacy of the bedroom. She stands for God's experience of conception, pregnancy, childbirth, nursing and raising children. It is the feminine aspect of God that rejoices in the birth of a baby, experiencing with the mother the pains of labor and the thrill of holding her newborn for the first time. The feminine aspect of God is with the mother as she comforts her five-year-old who comes in crying with a bleeding cut and applies a band-aid. The feminine aspect of God is present when a meal is cooked with love, or when a room is decorated with beauty to delight the eye. Women are better at attending to life's details and tender aspects. Here we can find Heavenly Mother's involvement.

Fourth, failure to manifest Heavenly Mother may limit the scope of church outreach. In the providence of restoration, Father God needed to find champions who could win the race and accomplish the mission. Therefore, the image of God as Heavenly Father is dominant in religions like the Unification Church which has a strong orientation to mission and providence. But ideally religion should not be a game only for the victors, those select few of exceptional faith. Humanity is composed of ordinary believers as well as activists, and of sinners as well as saints; and it is the embrace of Heavenly Mother that can reach the multitudes. This is because the multitudes are in need of God's unconditional grace, such as a Mother's heart provides.

In the era of Cheon Il Guk, the providential imperative is to restore nations and realize the universal human family of God. To accomplish these huge goals, the Unification movement will have to graduate from an elite sect of committed believers to become a universal church that can minister to all citizens.[48] Such was Christianity after it conquered Rome and as it expanded to reach the masses of Europe: its way was aided by the veneration of Mary as the "Mother of God." As the Unification Movement hopefully likewise transitions to become a national-level and world-level peace church, it would do well to present the vision of an all-embracing God, who is both Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother.

 

Conclusion

We conclude here, looking towards the future when God's femininity is restored and fully manifested in earthly life. Awareness of feminine value is bound to increase as the era when the main directive was to restore God's lineage-the vertical imperative of restoration-gives way to the era when our primary task is to develop Cheon Il Guk by promoting love, peace and family among all God's children. By knowing God in His/Her balance of masculinity and femininity, we will be fully capable of realizing the ideal balance in our own lives, and from there create a world that fulfills the Three Great Blessings.

 

Notes

[1] Sun Myung Moon, Cheon Seong Gyeong, Selections from the Speeches of True Parents (Seoul: Sunghwa Publishing, 2006), p. 69. The pronouns for God are given as "He" in the Cheon Seong Gyeong, but that is an artifact of translation, since the Korean language does not contain gender-specific pronouns.

[2]Exposition of the Divine Principle (New York: HSA-UWC, 1996), pp. 18-19.

[3]Ibid.

[4]Exposition of the Divine Principle, p. 19.

[5] Stephen K. Nomura, "God as Masculine Subject Partner," Journal of Unification Studies 4 (2001-2002): 57-71

[6] Young Oon Kim, Unification Theology, revised edition (New York: HSA-UWC, 1987), pp. 43-45.

[7]Exposition of the Divine Principle, p. 17.

[8] Sun Myung Moon, "Let This Be a Good Year," trans. Bo Hi Pak, New York, January 2, 1983.

[9]Cheon Seong Gyeong, p. 461.

[10]World Scripture and the Teachings of Sun Myung Moon, Andrew Wilson, ed. (Tarrytown, NY: Universal Peace Federation, 2007), p. 950.

[11]World Scripture and the Teachings of Sun Myung Moon, p. 954.

[12]Cheon Seong Gyeong, p. 464.

[13] There is a vast literature on this topic; see for example, Robert W. Goy and Bruce S. McEwen, Sexual Differentiation of the Brain, Based on a Work Session of the Neuro¬sciences Research Program (Cambridge: MIT Press, 1980); Linda Marsa, "He Thinks, She Thinks," Discover (July 2007), http://discovermagazine.com/2007/brain/she-thinks

[14]Cheon Seong Gyeong, p. 464.

[15]World Scripture and the Teachings of Sun Myung Moon, p. 960.

[16]Exposition of the Divine Principle, p. 19.

[17] Taken from Sang Hun Lee, Explaining Unification Thought (New York: Unification Thought Institute, 1981), pp. 51-52.

[18] Richard Wilhelm, The I Ching, or Book of Changes, trans. Carey F. Baynes, Bollingen Series XIX (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1950), p. 280.

[19] Sang Hun Lee, Essentials of Unification Thought: the Headwing Thought (Tokyo: Unification Thought Institute, 1992), pp. 48-49.

[20] The concept of yin-yang philosophy quoted in Exposition of the Divine Principle does regard God (the Great Ultimate) as the Origin of both yin and yang. But this concept comes from the thought of the 11th-century scholar Chou Tun-I and not the much older Book of Changes. See Exposition, pp. 20-22.

[21]Exposition of the Divine Principle, p. 38.

[22]Exposition of the Divine Principle, pp. 43-44.

[23] Sun Myung Moon, "The Way of Original Form," trans. Bo Hi Pak, Tarrytown, June 8, 1980.

[24] Sun Myung Moon, "The Way Our Blessed Families Should Go," Cheong Pyeong Train¬ing Center, Korea, August 28, 1971. http://www.unification.net/1971/19710828_1.html

[25]Cheon Seong Gyeong, pp. 99-100.

[26]Exposition of the Divine Principle, p. 38.

[27]Exposition of the Divine Principle, p. 30.

[28]World Scripture and the Teachings of Sun Myung Moon, p. 1014.

[29]World Scripture and the Teachings of Sun Myung Moon, p. 936.

[30] Sun Myung Moon, "The Three Great Subject Partners Principle from the Viewpoint of God's Providence," Messages of Peace, Pyeong Hwa Hoon Gyeong (New York: FFWPU, 2007), pp. 231-32.

[31]Exposition of the Divine Principle, p. 103.

[32]World Scripture and the Teachings of Sun Myung Moon, p. 1014.

[33] Moon, "The Three Great Subject Partners Principle," p. 231.

[34]Exposition of the Divine Principle, p. 172.

[35]World Scripture and the Teachings of Sun Myung Moon, p. 956.

[36]World Scripture and the Teachings of Sun Myung Moon, p. 1013.

[37] Sun Myung Moon, "True Parents Day from the Historical Point of View," trans. Bo Hi Pak, New York, April 18, 1977.

[38]World Scripture and the Teachings of Sun Myung Moon, p. 1012.

[39] Sun Myung Moon, "The 23rd Anniversary of the Unification Church and the History of God's Dispensation," trans. Bo Hi Pak, Tarrytown, May 1, 1977.

[40] Scripture does not indicate that Pharaoh actually violated Sarah. His words to Abraham, "here is your wife, take her" (Gen. 12:19), indicate that she had not yet become Pharaoh's wife. Typically it would take months of preparation by beauticians and masseuses before a young maiden would be brought to the king. (Est. 2:12)

[41]World Scripture and the Teachings of Sun Myung Moon, p. 471.

[42]World Scripture and the Teachings of Sun Myung Moon, pp. 476-77.

[43] Sun Myung Moon, "View of the Principle of the Providential History of Salvation," True Family and World Peace (New York: HSA Publications, 200), p. 54.

[44] Hak Ja Han Moon and Bo Hi Pak, "Mother's Testimony," May 3, 1977. http://www.tparents.org/Moon-Talks/SunMyungMoon77/SM770503.htm

[45] Moon, "View of the Principle of the Providential History of Salvation," loc. cit.

[46] "Interview with Ye-jin Nim," Today's World 30/1 (January-February 2009): 33.

[47]World Scripture and the Teachings of Sun Myung Moon, pp. 55-56.

[48] This is based on the classic typology of church and sect first enunciated by Max Weber: A "sect" is a religious group with norms that are at variance with the wider society, which claims a privileged access to truth, and where membership requires a decision and a commitment to practice the truth. A "church" is a universal religion that can include all members of society within its ranks; membership is not restricted to committed believers but is inclusive of everyone, like being a citizen of a nation.

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  • Jon Quinn Tuesday, 27 September 2011 20:38

    Because the UC is fundamentally led by feminists it is a miracle that Stephen's Nomura paper (2001) was published. At (www.unification-thought.org/01sut-pref.html) we read that the editors of the Journal had a hard time with this common sense view: We read:, ”The editorial board struggled over whether to publish this essay, chiefly because its advocacy of God's masculinity was not balanced by way of consideration of God's dual characteristics and their significance for the male-female relationship, and its neglect of any critical consideration of the abuse that might arise from such beliefs. Nevertheless, we felt the paper highlights an important strand of Rev. Moon's current message, which should initiate a wider theological discussion, and we look forward to publishing differing points of view.”

    What abuse could come of calling God “Heavenly Father” like Jesus did in the most famous prayer ever given: “Our Father who art in heaven”?

    Sadly the Journal published a completely unprincipled article (Vol. 10, 2009) giving the feminist view of God by Andrew Wilson in 2009 tilled “Heavenly Mother”. He calls God He/She and S/he. Normura’s paper is perfect and true; Wilson’s is right out of some Women’s Studies course that hates men., masculinity and patriarchy.

    about 11 months ago
    0 Like
  • Susan Felsenthal Monday, 23 May 2011 19:37

    Hello Andrew,

    Well written. It looks to me like you are trying to speak to a chosen audience. Not everyone needs this gate into heaven. Unificationists that study the bible must get a lot out of this. However not everyone has the background where this would make sense.
    I was in agreement with the part on consequences of the loss of Heavenly Mother. This aspect needs to be taught in order to bring awareness of it and for change to happen.
    I am not a bible scholar, nor wish to be. I want to be a woman who embodies the feminine Goddess, a term that meets rolling eyes so far. Maybe we need a new term for what I mean.. and I think that you did a good job in this essay on the terms.
    I would like to see an essay on the God of the Day and the God of the Night written from the same viewpoint as this article.

    Thank you for sharing this article with me. It is very good.

    Susan Felsenthal

    about 11 months ago
    0 Like
  • Timothy Lee Friday, 11 June 2010 14:04

    When God and I met, many Sun Myung Moon's ago I was struck by how down to earth God's voice is. It is about 40ish and masculine. It bears no pretense whatsoever. The creator of the cosmos has a voice that is so matter of fact you would think He was a good friend and that you had known Him all of your life. That is God our Father. God always assumes the positive and the masculine. (Gen.1:27) God created man in His own image. In Heaven He is addressed simply as, God. And His right arm and hand are visible to those who visit His home and speak with His servants the Archangels. Who you may reestablish direct dominion over by asking them to preform a service for you.

    about 11 months ago
    0 Like
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