A Summary of Unification Thought


Theory of the Original Image
I.   Content of the Original Image
II.  Structure of the Original Image
III. Traditional Ontologies and Unification Thought

Ontology: A Theory of Being
I. Individual Truth Being
II Connected Being

Theory of the Original Human Nature
I.   A Being With Divine Image
II.  A Being with Divine Character
III. A Being with Position
V. A Unification Thought Appraisal of the Existentialist Analysis of Human Existence

Axiology: A Theory of Value
I.   Meaning of Axiology and Significance of Value
II.  Divine Principle Foundation for Axiology
III. Kinds of Value
IV. Essence of Value
V. Determination of Actual Value and Standard of Value
VI.Weaknesses in the Traditional Views of Value
VII.Establishing the New View of Value
VIII.Historical Changes in the View of Value

Theory of Education
I.   The Divine Principle Foundation for a Theory of Education
II.  The Three Forms of Education
III. The Image of the Ideal Educated Person
IV. Traditional Theories of Education
V. An Appraisal of Traditional Theories of Education from the Standpoint of Unification Thought

I.   The Divine Principle Foundation for Ethics
II.  Ethics and Morality
III. Order and Equality
IV.Appraisal of Traditional Theories of Ethics from the Viewpoint of the Unification Theory of Ethics

Theory of Art
I.   The Divine Principle Foundation for the New Theory of Art
II.  Art and Beauty
III. The Dual Purpose of Artistic Activity: Creation and Appreciation
IV. Requisites for Artistic Appreciation
V. Technique, Materials, and Style in Artistic Creation
VI. Requisites for Artistic Appreciation
VII.Unity in Art
VIII.Art and Ethics
IX. Types of Beauty
X.  A Critique and Counterproposal to Socialist Realism

Theory of History
I.   The Basic Positions of the Unification View of History
II.  The Laws of Creation
III. The Laws of Restoration
IV. Changes In History
V. Traditional Views of History
VI. Comparative Analysis of Providential View, Materialist View, and Unification View

I. Traditional Epistemologies
II. Unification Epistemology
III. Kant's and Marx's Epistemologies from the Perspective of Unification Thought

I.   Traditional Systems of Logic
II.  Unification Logic
III. An Appraisal of Traditional Systems of Logic from the Perspective of Unification Thought

I.   Historical Review
II.  Unification Methodology - The Give-and-Receive Method
III. An Appraisal of Conventional Methodologies from the Perspective of Unification Thought

I.   Principle of Mutual Existence, Mutual Prosperity and Mutual Righteousness
II.  Three Great Subjects Thought
III. Significance of the Four Great Realms of Heart and the Three Great Kingships



Theory of Art

Culture, in a broad and general sense, refers to the totality of the various kinds of human activity, including economy, education, religion, science, and art, among which the most central is art. In other words, art is the essence of culture. However, art today is showing signs of a global tendency towards decadence. This is the case whether one considers democratic or former Communist nations, or whether one examines developed or developing nations. Decadent art can only generate a decadent culture. If today’s decadence continues, world culture will face a serious crisis. Accordingly, in order to reverse this decadent trend, and even to create a new culture, a true art movement must be promoted, and for this purpose, it is necessary to propound a new theory of art.

The dawn of new eras in the past was always preceded by a new spirit in art. During the Renaissance period, for instance, artists played a leading role. In Communist revolutions as well, artists made a substantial con-tribution. It is well known that Maxim Gorky’s works in the Russian Revolution and Lu Xun’s works in the Chinese Revolution greatly con-tributed to those revolutionary movements. Therefore, in creating a new culture in the days to come, true art activities must be developed.

Communist art, centered on the Soviet Union, was called “socialist realism.” Communists regarded art as a very important weapon in their revolution. Through art, they sought to expose the contradictions of capitalist society and to motivate people toward revolution. Socialist realism was a theory of art based on the materialist dialectic and historical materialism and it easily eclipsed theories of art in free societies, theories whose philosophical grounds were weak. Whereas socialist realism once dominated artistic society in Communist countries, with the fall of Communism-or rather, since before its fall-it began to fade away.

Nevertheless, even though socialist realism has faded away, there is a possibility that it may reappear, inasmuch as it faded away without a substantial theoretical critique and, therefore, its disappearance was only superficial. In order to preclude its reappearance, it is necessary to critique it with a new theory of art.

It is in this context that I present the theory of art of Unification Thought, or the Unification Theory of Art, as just such a new theory of art. The Unification Theory of Art seeks to reverse today’s trend towards decadence in art. Also, being based on a new philosophy it is presented as a critique of socialist realism, and as its counterproposal. This theory is for the purpose of contributing to the creation and establishment of a new cultural society. From the viewpoint of God’s providence, the future society is not only true and ethical, but also artistic; therefore, it is all the more necessary to present a new theory of art.

I. Divine Principle Foundation for the Theory of Art

This new theory of art is based on the Divine Principle. The most important foundational concepts to be utilized are: (1) God’s purpose of creation and His creativity, (2) joy and creation in resemblance, and (3) give and receive action.

First, let me explain God’s purpose of creation and His creativity. The purpose for which God created the universe was to actualize joy through love. In other words, God created the universe as His object of joy. This means that God is a great artist and the universe is His work of art. To explain more concretely, God created human beings to be His object partners of joy and He created all things to be the object partners of joy for human beings.

For human beings, God’s purpose of creation refers to the purpose for their being created: their purpose for the whole and their purpose for the individual. Their purpose for the whole is to give joy to the whole (namely, humankind, nation, tribe, and so on) whereas their purpose for the individual is to obtain joy for themselves from other individuals and the whole. God gave desire to human beings so that they could fulfill their purpose for being created. Accordingly, human beings always have a desire to obtain joy while they are pleasing God and the whole. Artistic activity is derived from God’s creation of the universe. The activity of creation starts with the purpose for the whole, that is, it starts with an intention to please others. The activity of appreciation, on the other hand, starts with the purpose for the individual, that is, it starts with the intention of obtaining joy for oneself.

God’s creativity is His ability to form the two-stage structure of crea-tion, namely the inner developmental four position foundation and the outer developmental four position foundation within the Original Image. Forming the inner developmental four position foundation means to form Logos (plan); and forming the outer developmental four position founda-tion means creating all things by using Hyungsang (material) in accordance with Logos. This process of creation by God is manifested as the two-stage structure of creation in human artistic activities. First, a plan is made; and second, a work of art is made by substantializing the plan through the use of materials.

Next, I will explain joy and creation in resemblance. God created human beings and all things as His object partners of joy. The joy of the subject is obtained through receiving the stimulation coming from an object whose Sungsang and Hyungsang resemble those of the subject.1 Accordingly, God created human beings in such a way that they resemble in image the dual characteristics of God, and created all things in such a way that they resemble Him symbolically.2 Applied to the theory of art, this means that an artist produces a work of art in resemblance to his or her own Sungsang and Hyungsang in order to obtain joy. Also, it means that an appreciator feels joy when sensing his or her own Sungsang and Hyungsang in and through a work of art.

Finally, I will explain give and receive action. In God, Sungsang and Hyungsang engage in give and receive action in a relationship of subject and object, and either form a union or produce a multiplied being.3 To produce a multiplied being means to create a new being. When this give and receive action within God’s Original Image is applied to the theory of art, it follows that the artistic activity of creation is performed through the give and receive action between the subject (the artist) and the object (materials), and that the appreciation of artistic work is performed through the give and receive action between the subject (the appreciator) and the object (art work). Accordingly, in both artistic creation and appreciation there are certain requisites for both subject and object to possess, since value (truth, goodness, and beauty) is determined by the correlative relationship between a subject and an object, as explained in Axiology.

II. Art and Beauty

What is Art?

The human mind possesses the three faculties of intellect, emotion, and will, corresponding to which there are different fields of cultural activity. Through intellectual activity, such fields as philosophy, science, and so on are developed; through volitional activity, such practical fields as morality and ethics are formed; and through emotional activity, the diverse areas of art come into being. In this way, art can be defined as “the emotional activity of creating and appreciating beauty.”

Then, connected with this, what is the purpose of art? The purpose for which God created human beings and the universe was to obtain joy through loving object partners. Likewise, it is for the purpose of obtaining joy that works of art, which are artists’ objects, are created. Therefore, art can also be described as the “activity of creating joy through creation and appreciation.”

The British art critic Herbert Read (1892-1968) held that, “All artists have this same intention, the desire to please; and art is most simply and most usually defined as an attempt to create pleasing forms.”4 This sentiment is in solid agreement with the definition of art in Unification Thought.

Art and Joy

As already stated, art is the creation of beauty, namely, the creation of joy. Then, what is joy? According to the Divine Principle, “Joy arises when we have an object partner in which our internal nature and external form are reflected and developed. Our object partner helps us to feel our own internal nature and external form through the stimulation it gives. This object partner may be intangible or it may be substantial” (DP , 33). Thus, joy arises when the Sungsang and Hyungsang of an object partner resemble those of the subject.

As explained in Ontology and Epistemology, the human being is an encapsulation of the universe; therefore, all the Sungsangs and Hyungsangs of the universe exist in latent form within the human body. Consequently, when we recognize a flower, for example, we are already equipped with the prototypes of the color, form, softness, etc. of the flower. When we experience, through give and receive action, that the prototype is in full accord with the color, form, softness, etc, of the actual flower, we recognize it as a certain flower. The feeling of joy arises from that accordance. Therefore, if we want to appreciate the beauty of an object, we must first have the prototype in our mind.

Then, how does a prototype arise? The first requisite is one’s purity of mind. If one’s mind is pure, prototypes will come to the surface naturally. The second requisite is education. Through a theoretical study and appreciation of the various forms of beauty, the prototypes within one’s sub-consciousness are more easily stimulated and come to surface awareness.

Resemblance in Sungsang

A resemblance in Sungsang refers to the instance wherein subject and object resemble each other, either totally or partially, in terms of their thought, plan, individuality, taste, education, heart, and so on. Among these, a resemblance in thought is particularly important. When one finds within one’s object a thought similar to one’s own thought, the object appears beautiful. Therefore, if one’s thinking is broad and penetrating, he or she will be able to appreciate a broader scope of joy, commensurate to that, and be deeply moved.

Thus, resemblance in Sungsang refers to the resemblance between the artist’s Sungsang, which is contained in an art work, and the appreciator’s Sungsang: namely, the resemblance in their heart, thought, and so on.

Resemblance in Hyungsang

The Hyungsang of an object refers to its physical elements, which we perceive with our five senses: the form, color, sound, odor, etc. of a thing. When these elements come into accord with the prototypes within us, we can appreciate beauty and feel joyful.

As will be explained in epistemology, the external world is an extension of the human mind. Accordingly, a human being has all the elements of the external world as prototypes in his or her mind. That is, the Hyungsang elements such as form, color, sound, odor, etc. of all things or art works already exist within us as prototypes in contracted forms. That is what is referred to as resemblance in Hyungsang. When those elements-the physical elements of an object and the prototypes within us-come into accord, and our emotion is stimulated, we obtain joy.


Another aspect of resemblance, which is also a cause of joy, is comple-mentarity. This refers to the instance wherein the subject feels joy by finding within the object some aspect which is absent within the subject. For example, a man is pleased to find grace and beauty in a woman, qualities which he lacks.

There are two reasons for this kind of joy. First, a human being alone can not become a complete being. Human beings were created in pairs: man, who has God’s Yang characteristics, and woman, who has His Yin characteristics. When man and woman unite, they come to resemble the harmony of God’s dual characteristics. This accords with how human beings were originally created.

This complementary nature can be regarded as a kind of resemblance. Every one has within one’s sub-consciousness an image of what one lacks and which one wishes to be supplemented with. When one actually faces an object which matches that image, one feels joy, since the element one lacks is then supplemented. In this case also, the object resembles the image within the mind of the appreciator. Thus, complementarity is a kind of resemblance.

Second, God created human beings in such a way that they possess one of God’s Individual Images; therefore, a man or a woman feels joy through engaging in give and receive action with others and finding within them that which is lacking in himself or herself. The beauty felt in this case is based on complementarity, which is a kind of resemblance, in a broader sense. God, the One, manifests Himself as paired beings of yang and yin, and as innumerable beings of individuality. Hence, we feel joy when we unite, becoming more perfect beings.

As another example, two separate things, a desk and a chair, become a perfect being (set) by complementing each other. To become a perfect being means that the purpose of creation is fulfilled, bringing about satisfaction and joy. In order for complementarity to be established, there must be resemblance in a deeper dimension, at the root. No beauty or joy can arise from mere differences without commonality, namely, a common purpose or resemblance.5

What is Beauty?

According to the Divine Principle, love is “the emotional force that the subject partner gives to the object partner” (DP , 38), and beauty is “the emotional force that the object partner returns to the subject partner” (DP , 38). In cases where the object is a mineral or a plant, what comes from the object is a material force, but the subject (human being) can still receive it as an emotional stimulation. However, there are cases where, even though the object gives stimulation (force) to the subject, the subject does not receive it emotionally. In such cases, the stimulus can not become an emotional stimulation. The question, therefore, is whether the subject receives the stimulus coming from the object emotionally or not. If the subject receives the stimulus emotionally, then that stimulus becomes an emotional stimulation. Therefore, beauty can be defined as “the emotional force, or the emotional stimulation that the object gives to the subject.” Since beauty is one of the primary values-along with truth and goodness -beauty can be expressed in another way as well, namely, as “the value of an object that can be felt as an emotional stimulation.”

I have described the emotional force which the subject gives to the object as love, and the emotional force which the object returns to the subject as beauty. In reality, however, in the case of human relations, both subject and object mutually give and receive love and beauty. In other words, the object also gives love to the subject, and the subject also gives beauty to the object. The reason is that, “when the subject partner and object partner become completely one in harmony, love is found within beauty and beauty is found within love” (DP , 38). When an emotional force is sent either from the subject to the object or from the object to the subject, it is sent as love, and it is received as an emotional stimulation, in other words, as beauty.

In the discussion above, I have given the definition of beauty as understood in Unification Thought. In the past, beauty was defined by philosophers in various ways. Plato, for instance, explained the essence of beauty in terms of beauty itself, namely, the Idea of beauty existing in an object. Concerning beauty, he said, “Fineness is auditory and visual pleasure.” 6 Kant explained beauty as the “subjective purposiveness of an object,” or the “form of purposiveness of an object.” 7 What he means is: An object in nature has no intentional purpose. Yet, if a human being subjectively considers it as having purposiveness and receives a pleasant feeling from it, then that which gives that pleasant feeling to the human being is beauty.

Determination of Beauty

How is beauty determined? About this point, Divine Principle explains as follows:

The value of an entity intended at its creation is not fixed as an inher-ent attribute. Rather, it is established through the mutual relationship between the purpose of the entity according to God’s ideal of creation, and people’s original desire to treasure it and bring out its true worth…. Consider a rose; how is its original beauty determined? It is determined when the purpose for which God created the flower and the divinely given human desire to appreciate and bring out its beauty are fulfilled together. To put it another way, an ideal person feels the fullness of joy when his desire to pursue beauty is satisfied by the emotional stimula-tion that the flower gives him. At that moment, the flower manifests its original beauty (DP , 36-37).

Beauty, then, is not something which exists objectively, but is some-thing that comes to be determined through a give and receive action between the subject, which has the desire to seek value, and the object. In other words, beauty is determined when the subject, engaging in give and receive action, emotionally and subjectively judges the emotional stimulation coming from the object as beauty.

Elements of Beauty

Beauty is not something that “exists” objectively but is something that “is felt.” Some element existing in the object gives the subject an emotional stimulation that is felt by the subject as beauty. Then, what is this element that stimulates the subject emotionally, in other words, what is this ele-ment of beauty? It is the combination of the purpose for which the object was created (the purpose of creation) and the harmony of the physical elements within the object. That is to say, when the physical elements, such as lines, shapes, colors, and spatial patterns in paintings, high and low sounds, long and short sounds in music, are well harmo-nized centering on the purpose of creation, and they give to the subject an emotional stimulation, the subject recognizes and feels it subjectively as beauty. When beauty is recognized as such by the subject, it becomes actual beauty.

Harmony refers to both spatial harmony and temporal harmony. Spatial harmony refers to the harmony in spatial arrangement, and temporal harmony refers to the harmony that is produced through the passage of time. Art forms expressing spatial harmony include paintings, architecture, sculptures, handicrafts, and so on, and can be called spatial art. Art forms manifesting temporal harmony include literature, music, and so on, and can be called temporal art. There are other art forms including drama, dancing, and the like, which manifest both spatial and temporal harmony, and these can be called spatio-temporal art or com-prehensive art. In any case, it is the expression of harmony that gives rise to a feeling of beauty.

Aristotle said in his Metaphysics, “The chief forms of beauty are order and symmetry and definiteness.” 8 Read said, “The work of art has an imaginary point of reference (analogous to a center of gravity) and around this point the lines, surfaces and masses are distributed in such a way that they rest in perfect equilibrium. The structural aim of all these modes is harmony, and harmony is the satisfaction of our sense of beauty.” 9 Both agree that the element of beauty exists in harmony.

III. Dual Purposes of Artistic Activity: Creation
and Appreciation

Artistic activities consist of two aspects, namely, creation and appre-ciation. These two aspects are not separate activities; rather, they are the two aspects of a united activity. This means that while one engages in creation, one engages in appreciation at the same time, and while engaging in appreciation, one creatively adds to the work of art one’s own subjective perspective (called “subjective action,” which will be explained below). In short, creation and appreciation are inseparably related.

Why are creation and appreciation so closely related? What are these two aspects of art necessary for? From the viewpoint of Unification Thought, creation and appreciation are practical activities carried out in order to fulfill the dual desires to realize value and to seek value. Specifically, creation is performed so that one may fulfill one’s desire to realize value, and appreciation is performed so that one may fulfill one’s desire to seek value. Then, for what purpose do human beings have these two desires? Human beings are given the desire to realize value in order to fulfill the purpose for the whole, and they are given the desire to seek value in order to fulfill the purpose for the individual. In other words, God gave human beings such desires as a driving force or impulsive force, so that they might act to fulfill the purpose of creation.

The purpose for the whole, even when not in one’s conscious awareness, is nevertheless latent in the subconscious of a human being. At the same time, there exists in the human subconscious the desire necessary to fulfill the purpose for the whole. For this reason, everyone, consciously or subconsciously, strives to live a life of truth, to do good deeds, to create beauty, to serve humankind, and to please God. In this way, creation in art is based on the desire to realize value, namely, the desire to fulfill the purpose for the whole. Furthermore, human beings live for their own sake as well. This means that everyone seeks to obtain joy by finding value in an object based on their desire to seek value. The appreciation of art is based on this desire. Hence, the appreciation of art is a quest to fulfill the purpose for the individual.

The purpose for the whole and the purpose for the individual come from God’s purpose of creation. God created human beings in order to obtain joy; this is the purpose of creation from the standpoint of God. From the standpoint of human beings, however, it is their purpose of being created, which is both to please God and the whole, and to find joy for themselves: the purpose for the whole and the purpose for the individual.

In this way, creation in art is the activity whereby an artist, in the position of object, manifests value (beauty) for the subject, namely, God and humankind, whereas appreciation is the activity whereby an appreciator, in the position of subject, finds and enjoys value (beauty) in an object, namely, a work of art. Both actions are ultimately derived from God’s purpose of creation. Today, however, it is often the case that artists have deviated from the original proper position and have fallen into self-centered art. This has become a deplorable situation. If the true meaning of creation and appreciation becomes clear, artists will come to see their activities with more of a sense of purpose, and will pursue artistic activities as intended in the original ideal.

IV. Requisites for Artistic Creation

In order to understand creative activity in art, it is necessary to clarify the requisites for artistic creation. In creation, there are certain requisites for the subject (artist) as well as requisites for the object (work of art). Also, one’s techniques, materials, and styles of creation are important requisites in creation. Each of these points will be discussed below.

A. Requisites for the Subject in Artistic Creation

Requisites for the subject in artistic creation refer to motif, theme, conception, object consciousness, individuality, and so on.

Motif, Theme, and Conception

In creating a work of art, there must first be a motif, a motivation for creation, and based on that motif, a purpose for creating a specific work is established. Next, the theme and the conception are established. The theme refers to the central content to be developed in the work, and the conception is the concrete plan for the content and form of an art work that is to be created based on the theme.

For example, suppose a painter, upon seeing an autumn landscape, is moved emotionally by its beauty and decides to paint it. The emotion thus aroused becomes the motif, and the purpose is set up of creating a painting of an autumn scene. Based on that purpose, a theme is established. If, for instance, there are especially strong feelings evoked by maple trees, the artist may decide to express the motif centering on maple trees, and a theme such as “Maple Trees in Autumn” may be decided. Once a theme is decided, the artist forms a concrete conception of how mountains, trees, rivers, sky, clouds, etc. will be arranged, what colors will be used, and so on.

The creation of the universe by God can be described in a similar way. First of all, a motif served as the motivation for creation. This motif had to do with His Heart, namely, His emotional impulse to “be joyful through love.” Next, God established the purpose of creation, that is, the purpose of creating object partners of love resembling Him. Based on that purpose, the theme was determined: the human beings, “Adam and Eve.” Then, a concrete conception of human beings and all things, namely, Logos, was established. That is how we can explain the creation of the universe by God.

In God’s creative act, His Inner Sungsang (intellect, emotion, and will) and Inner Hyungsang (ideas, concepts, laws, and mathematical principles) within God’s Sungsang, engaged in give and receive action, centering on Heart (purpose), and the conception (Logos) was formed. The formation of this four position foundation can be applied directly to artistic creation. To explain, an artist establishes a theme, centering on a motif (purpose), and makes a conception through give and receive action between inner Sungsang and inner Hyungsang in the direction of actualizing the theme. This corresponds to the formation of the inner four position foundation in the process of creation by God (see fig. 7.1).

Let us consider the example of The Thinker, by Auguste Rodin (1840- 1917), which is the statue of a poet sitting in the center of the upper level of the Gate of Hell, and was conceptualized on the basis of the first part of Dante’s Divine Comedy, “Hell.” The statue portrays a poet engaged in meditation while watching the people in hell, who are groaning in fear, anxiety, and pain. Rodin’s motif in creating The Thinker may have been the deep emotion he felt upon reading Dante’s Divine Comedy, realizing that every one must live a life of goodness in order to avoid suffering in hell. His theme was The Thinker, and the figure of a man sitting, engaged in meditation, was his conception.

There is another well-known statue whose theme is the same as with Rodin’s work: the statue of the thinking Maitreya-Bodhisattva from the Shilla dynasty in Korea. However, it is quite different from Rodin’s work. The statue of the thinking Maitreya-Bodhisattva has as its motif the heart of the people waiting for the Maitreya, who was said to have been the most excellent disciple of Buddha and is to come again in order to save all humankind. The statue has a smile filled with self-confidence in his ability to save humankind. Rodin’s statue displays a strong intellectual aspect, whereas the statue of Maitreya is centered on purified emotions, and, as a result, manifests itself as a very noble and holy statue. The difference between these statues, which have the same theme, derives from differences in motif and conception.

Object Consciousness

Creation is an activity whereby an artist, in the position of object, gives joy to the subject, namely, God and the whole (humankind, nation, tribe, etc.), by manifesting the value of beauty. To do so appropriately, the artist must first establish a sense of object consciousness. The attitude of wanting to give joy to God, the highest subject, and to manifest the glory of God, is the culmination of object consciousness. The content of such object consciousness will now be addressed.

First, an artist should have the attitude of wanting to comfort God, who has been grieving with sorrow throughout human history. God created human beings and the universe to obtain joy, and even endowed human beings with creativity. Therefore, the original purpose of human life was, above all, to give joy to God. Accordingly, all human creative activity should first be carried out in order to please God. However, human beings separated themselves from God and lost the consciousness of wanting to give joy to God. That has been the sorrow of God, even until now. Therefore, an artist should, above all, seek to comfort God for His historical sorrow.

Second, an artist should have the attitude of wanting to comfort the many sages and righteous people, especially Jesus, who walked the path of restoration with God. To comfort them leads to giving God comfort, who shared pain and sorrow with them.

Third, an artist should have the attitude of wanting to express the deeds of the good and righteous people of the past and present. That is, the artist should have the attitude of cooperating with God’s providence by portraying the deeds of those people who were, and still are, persecuted by the people in the sinful world.

Fourth, an artist should herald the coming of the ideal world. Therefore, an artist should create works of art which express hope for and confidence about the future. Through such works, God’s glory can be manifested.

Fifth, an artist should have the attitude of wanting to praise God, the Creator, by expressing the beauty and mystery of nature. God created nature for humankind’s joy. Due to the fall, however, people came to obtain less joy from the beauty of nature. Therefore, while having a feeling of awe toward nature, which is the manifestation of God’s attributes, the artist should discover the profound and mysterious beauty of nature, praise the mystery of God’s creation, and give joy to others.

Artists who have such an object consciousness and invest all their energy into their creative work, can receive blessings from God and assistance from the spirit world. This is the way in which truly great works of art can be produced. Such works may be considered to be the fruit of a co-creative effort between God and the artist.

Among the artists of the Renaissance period there were many who created their works of art with just such an object consciousness as this. For example, Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519), Raffaello (1483-1520) and Michelangelo (1475-1564) were such artists. Beethoven (1770-1827), who perfected classical music, composed music with such an object conscious-ness.10 This is why the works of these artists have become immortal masterpieces.


Each person is a being with individuality, created in resemblance to one of the Individual Images in God. Accordingly, in artistic creation, the artist’s individuality is expressed in a work of art because artistic creation is an expression of the artist’s individuality, which is an individual image of divine origin. The artist gives joy to God and to others by manifesting his or her individuality. Actually, in great masterpieces the individuality of the artist is fully manifested. This is why the artist’s name is usually attached to the work of art (e.g., Beethoven’s Sixth Symphony and Schubert’s “Unfinished” Symphony).

B. Requisites for the Object in Artistic Creation

The work of art, as an object of artistic creation, should reflect the artist’s Sungsang conditions, such as motif (purpose), theme, and conception (plan). For that purpose, the artist must use materials that are most appropriate to manifest these Sungsang conditions. Moreover, those physical elements (components) themselves should be arranged in such a way that they express complete harmony. These are the Hyungsang conditions.

As previously mentioned, many artists and aestheticians say that the physical elements (components) should be harmonized well in an art work. Harmony of the physical elements refers to such things as the rhythm of lines, the harmony of shapes, of spaces, of light and shade, of color, of tone, of massing in painting, of the segments in a line, of movement in dancing, and so on.

As for the harmony of the segments in a line, consider the so-called “golden section,” which has been known since ancient times. The golden section is achieved by cutting a line in such a way that the ratio of the shorter segment to the longer segment is equal to the ratio of the longer segment to the total length of the line. This is achieved by dividing the total segment in proportions of approximately 5 to 8. When this proportion is employed, the end result is felt as stable in shape and beauty. In a painting, for example, if the relationship between the space above and that below the horizon or the relationship between the foreground and the background is made according to this proportion, harmony can be obtained. This golden section has also been applied to the pyramids and to Gothic cathedrals.

V. Technique, Materials, and Style in Artistic Creation
Technique and Materials

The two-stage structure in the Original Image refers to the two-stage structure in which, first, the Inner Sungsang and Inner Hyungsang engage in give and receive action, centering on purpose, to form Logos, and next, the Logos and Hyungsang engage in give and receive action, centering on purpose, to form a created being. All human creative activities are performed through this same process. For example, activities such as manufacturing, farming, scholarly research, and industrial research, are carried out according to this two-stage structure of creation.

This holds true also in the creation of artistic works. I have already explained the formation of the inner four position foundation in terms of the requisites for the subject. To repeat, centering on the motif (purpose), the inner Sungsang (intellect, emotion, and will) and inner Hyungsang (theme) engage in give and receive action and produce a conception (plan). This is the formation of the inner four position foundation. Next, based on this conception (plan) which has been formed through the inner four position foundation, the artist brings into being a work of art, using materials. In other words, the outer four position foundation is formed through give and receive action, centering on the motif (purpose), between the Sungsang (conception) and the Hyungsang (materials). In the formation of the outer four position foundation, the actual creation of a work of art, special techniques or abilities are usually required.

Next, I will explain about the materials necessary in creating a work of art. The materials required consist of the Sungsang materials (i.e., the object of expression) and the Hyungsang materials (i.e., the means of expression). The Sungsang materials are called the “subject-matter.” In writing, actions and events, whether they are real or fictitious, are the subject-matter. In painting, the people, landscape, and other images are the subject-matter. Thus, the subject-matter means the content of the theme.

The Hyungsang materials (i.e., physical materials) are called the “medi-um.” In a sculpture, such materials as chisels, marble, wood, and bronze are necessary. In painting, paints, canvasses, and so on are necessary. In producing a work of art, the artist determines the required quality and quantity of these physical materials and then utilizes them in concrete creative actions.

In this way, the artist first produces a conception (plan), and then completes the work by using specific materials. This process is called the two-stage structure of artistic creation,11 which is illustrated in fig. 7.2.

Various Styles, and the Schools of Artistic Creation

The style of artistic creation refers to the method through which one manifests one’s artistic expression, which is the particular way in which the two-stage structure of artistic creation is actually formed. Of particular importance here is the manner in which the inner four position founda-tion is formed, that is, the style of conception. The inner four position foundation is formed through the give and receive action between the inner Sungsang (intellect, emotion, and will) and inner Hyungsang (theme), centering on the motif (purpose).

Therefore, when there are differences in the motif, these will be reflected as differences in the finished works as well. Even with the same motif, with differences in the inner Sungsang, works will differ. Also, with differences in the inner Hyungsang, works will likewise differ. In the instance of variations or differences in any of the elements in any of the three positions in the inner four position foundation, the results (con-ceptions) will differ, and the works, also, will differ. This is the origin of the various styles of artistic creation. Based on these various styles, different schools of art have appeared historically. A few of the schools of art in history are described as follows:

(1) Idealism: Idealism is a style that seeks to express ideal beauty by idealizing human beings and the world. Many of the sixteenth century Renaissance artists were idealists. Raphael is a representative painter of this school.

(2) Classicism: Classicism refers to the artistic tendency in the seven-teenth and eighteenth centuries to follow the examples of the forms of expression of Greco-Roman art. It attached importance primarily to form, seeking to achieve unity and balance. A representative literary work is Faust by Johann W. von Goethe (1749-1832). Among the painters, we can mention Jacques L. David (1748-1825) and Jean A. D. Ingres (1780-1867).

(3) Romanticism: As a reaction to classicism’s focus on form, romanticism (eighteenth and nineteenth centuries) sought to give expression to the passions. Among romanticists, we can mention the writer Victor Hugo (1802-85), the poet Lord Byron (1788-1824), and the painter Eugene Delacroix (1798-1863).

(4) Realism/Naturalism: Realism is a tendency to depict reality as it is. This style emerged as a reaction against romanticism, during the period from the mid to the late nineteenth century. Representatives of this school are such painters as Jean B. C. Corot (1796-1875), Jean F. Millet (1814-75), and Gustave Courbet (1819-77), and the writer Gustave Flaubert (1821-80). The style of realism developed a tendency toward positivism and scientism which led it to naturalism. A representative writer of the school of naturalism is Emile Zola (1841-1920). In the area of the fine arts, there was no distinction between realism and naturalism.

(5) Symbolism: Symbolism arose from the late nineteenth century to the early twentieth century as a reaction against realism/naturalism. As a school of literature, it sought to express feelings with symbols, abandoning the traditions and forms of the past. A representative of this school is the poet Arthur Rimbaud (1854-91).

(6) Impressionism: The school of impressionism considered the image caught in a single instant to be the true image of things, and sought to express individual and momentary impressions of shapes and colors. This movement was born and developed in France in the late nineteenth century. Edouard Manet (1832-83), Claude Monet (1834-1917), Pierre A. Renoir (1841-1919) and Edgar Degas (1834-1917) are representative painters of this school.

(7) Expressionism: Contrary to impressionism, which depicted impre-ssions coming from the outside, expressionism sought to express internal human feelings. It arose as a reaction against impressionism in the early twentieth century. The painters Vasily Kandinsky (1866-1944) and Franz Marc (1880-1916) and the writer Franz Werfel (1890-1945) are repre-sentative artists of this school.

(8) Cubism: Cubism, a fine-arts movement of the early twentieth century, sought to disassemble objects into simple shapes and then reassemble them according to the artist’s subjectivity. A representative painter of this school is Pablo Picasso (1881-1973).

(9) Unificationism: Finally, how could we characterize the artistic style of the Unification Theory of Art? It is a style in which idealism and realism are united, centering on the purpose of creation. As such, it is called Unificationism (see fig. 7.3).

Since Unificationism seeks to realize the Kingdom of Heaven on earth, it regards reality as important. Accordingly, Unificationism has a pro-nounced sense of realism. At the same time, however, it strives, even while living in the real world to return to the original ideal world. So, the unification style includes idealism as well. Therefore, the unity of reality and the ideal becomes the Unificationist attitude of creation. For example, Unificationism would depict the image of a human being motivated by hope, seeking to overcome all hardships in the actual sinful world, all the while longing for the original ideal world. Unificationism is “Heartism,” that is, a theory centered on God’s Heart. Thus, Unificationism seeks to express ideal love centered on God, which naturally contains romantic elements as well. However, this is not like the romanticism of the past. When dealing with the love between a man and a woman, it will depict the ideal and realistic love between a man and a woman centered on God’s love and on the love of the True Parents of humankind.

The various styles and schools of art mentioned above can be divided, in a broad sense, into realism and idealism, whereby realism is understood not in the sense of “a style that depicts reality as it is,” but in the sense of “a style that is considered currently fashionable in a specific period,” and whereby idealism is understood not in the sense of “a style that depicts ideal human beings and ideal reality,” but in the sense of “a style that attempts to give rise to something new, and is oriented toward the future, in contradistinction to what might be currently fashionable in a specific period.” In this broad sense, each of the past styles started out as an “idealism,” but later became a “realism.” It can be said that Unificationism as a style of art is the “unity of realism and idealism” in this sense as well.

This style of Unificationism, which is a style patterned after God’s creative act centered on Heart and on the purpose of creation, is basically unchangeable and eternal, even though there may be some differences based on the individualities of different artists.

VI. Requisites for Artistic Appreciation

The appreciation of a work of art is a form of give and receive action; accordingly, in appreciation, as well, there are certain requisites for the subject and for the object. Those requisites will be explained here.

Requisites for the Subject in Appreciation

First, as a Sungsang requisite, an appreciator must have a keen interest in the art work. Based on that interest, the appreciator must assume the correct attitude with which to enjoy the beauty in the work, namely, the attitude of intuition and contemplation. In other words, the appreciator must view the art work with a clear state of mind, freeing himself or herself from worldly, or impure thoughts. To do this, it is necessary to harmonize the spirit mind and the physical mind, such that the spirit mind and the physical mind are in the relationship of subject and object centering on Heart. This means that the appreciator should make the pursuit of the values of truth, goodness, and beauty primary, and the pursuit of the physical values secondary.

Next, the appreciator must have attained a certain level of culture, taste, philosophy, individuality, and so on. It is also necessary to understand as much as possible the Sungsang aspect of the artist who created the work, namely, the motif (purpose), theme, conception, philosophy, historical and social environment, and so on. Understanding a work of art is a process of bringing into correspondence the appreciator’s Sungsang and the Sung-sang of the art work. Through this process of matching, the appreciator can enhance his or her resemblance to the art work.

For example, in order to deeply appreciate the works by Millet, it helps for one to understand the social environment of those days. At the time of the February Revolution of 1847, a heavy atmosphere of socialist reform had descended over France. It is said that Millet disliked that atmosphere and was more attracted to the simple life of the countryside. While living among farmers, he was inspired to portray their life-style as it was.12 If one understands Millet’s frame of mind, one can more deeply feel the beauty in his paintings.

In order to feel greater resemblance to the art work, the appreciator simultaneously engages in additional creative activity through “subjective action.” Subjective action means that the appreciator adds his or her own subjective elements to the object (art work), thus adding new and additional value to the value already created by the artist. The appreciator then enjoys the enhanced value as the value of the object. Subjective action corresponds to the notion of “empathy” as defined by Theodore Lipps.13 For example, in a play or a movie, an actor may break down in tears, and the audience may then weep along with the actor, thinking that the actor is really feeling sad. They project their own feelings on to the actor, judging the object subjectively. This is an example of subjective action, or empathy. Through subjective action, the appreciator becomes more closely united with the art work and obtains deeper joy.

Furthermore, the appreciator synthesizes the various physical elements discovered through contemplation and combines their overall unified harmony with the Sungsang (conception) of the artist, contained in the work. In other words, the appreciator finds the harmony of Sungsang and Hyungsang in the work.

Finally, the Hyungsang requisites for the appreciator refer to the appreciator’s own physical condition. The appreciator must have healthy sense organs for sight and hearing, and his or her brain and nervous system should be in good condition. Since a human being is a united being of Sungsang and Hyungsang, a healthy condition of one’s physical body is required for the appreciation of beauty, which is an activity of the Sungsang.

Requisites for the Object in Appreciation

With regard to the requisites for the object (art work), first, the elements of beauty, namely, all the physical elements of the art work must be well-harmonized, centering on the purpose of creation. Second, there should be harmony between the Sungsang (motif, purpose, theme, conception) and the Hyungsang (physical elements) of the art work.

In appreciation, since a work of art is a completed piece appearing before the appreciator, those qualities which the art work already has can not be changed at will by the appreciator. Yet, as was pointed out earlier, the appreciator’s resemblance to the art work can be enhanced through the subjective action of the appreciator. When displaying works of art, it is also important to prepare the environment in terms of location, back-ground and lighting, in order to create an appropriate atmosphere for appreciation.

Judgment of Beauty

Based on the principle that “value is determined through a correlative relationship (the relationship of give and receive) between subject and object,” beauty is judged or determined through the give and receive action between the appreciator (a subject with the above-mentioned requisites for the subject) and an art work (an object with the above-mentioned requisites for the object). This means that beauty is judged when the appreciator’s desire to seek beauty is fulfilled by the emotional stimulation coming from the art work. The emotional stimulation coming from the art work refers to these elements of beauty within the work which stimulate the emotion of the subject. This means that beauty itself does not exist objectively. Only when the elements of beauty which exist in the art work stimulate the emotional function of the appreciator, and the appreciator judges that they are beautiful, do they manifest as actual beauty.

Let us consider for a moment the difference between an aesthetic judgment and a cognitive judgment. A cognitive judgment is made through collation between the subject (internal elements-prototypes) and the object (external elements-sense content). An aesthetic judgment is also made through the collation between subject and object. What is the difference between the two?

If, during collation, the faculty of intellect is more active than the other faculties, then it becomes a cognitive judgment; but if the faculty of emotion is more active, then it becomes an aesthetic judgment. In other words, when the physical elements of an object are perceived intellectually, it is a cognitive judgment, but when they are perceived emotionally, it is an aesthetic judgment. However, since the intellectual and emotional faculties can not be totally separated from each other, an aesthetic judgment is always accompanied by cognition. For example, the aesthetic judgment that “this flower is beautiful” is accompanied by the cognition that “this is a rose.” The relationship between an aesthetic judgment and a cognitive judgment is illustrated in fig. 7.4.

VII. Unity in Art

There are several pairs of correlative aspects (elements) involved in artistic activities, including creation and appreciation, content and form, universality and individuality, and eternity and temporality. Originally, these correlative aspects were not separated, but united. In artistic activities up to the present, however, there has been a tendency to separate these correlative elements, or to emphasize only one element or the other. Thus, the Unification Theory of Art clarifies the nature of the unity of these correlative aspects.

Unity of Creation and Appreciation

Usually it might be thought that creation is an activity primarily under-taken by the artist, whereas appreciation is undertaken separately by the general public. In the view of Unification Thought, however, both are essential modes of the activity of dominion. In order to exercise dominion over something, the correlative aspects of cognition and practice are nece-ssary, and the cognition and practice that take place centering on emotion are precisely the activities of appreciation and creation in the field of art. Cognition and practice form the two reciprocal circuits of give and receive action between the subject (human being) and the object (all things). Thus, there can be no practice without cognition, nor can there be cognition without practice. Therefore, in the relationship between creation and appreciation in art, there can be no appreciation without creation, nor can there be creation without appreciation.

While engaging in creation, artists appreciate their own work; also, while appreciating the art work of others, appreciators engage in creation. Creation in appreciation refers to the additional way of creation through one’s subjective action, as mentioned above.

Unity of Content and Form

Certain schools of art, such as classicism, attach importance to form, whereas other schools disregard form and attach importance to content. Since content and form in art are in the relationship of Sungsang and Hyungsang, however, they should originally be united. That is to say, the Sungsang content (such as motif, theme, and conception) and the form in which they are expressed with materials (Hyungsang) should be in accord with each other. Tsutomu Ijima, a Japanese aesthetician, appropriately said, “Form is actually the form of content, and content is the content of form.” 14 This means precisely that content and form should be united.

Unity of Universality and Individuality

Just as in all created beings the universal image and the individual image are united, likewise, in art, universality and individuality are united. First, there is the unity of universality and individuality within the artists themselves. Artists have their own unique individualities, and at the same time they belong to a certain school or have a certain method of creation in common with their specific region or period of time. The former is their individuality, the latter, their universality.

Since artists have universality and individuality united within them-selves in this way, their works necessarily come to manifest this same unity of universality and individuality. Thus, in an art work, individual beauty and universal beauty are always manifested in a united manner.

In culture as well, there is unity between universality and individuality. That is to say, while the culture of a certain region has the special charac-teristics of that region, it also has characteristics common to the culture of the wider region to which it belongs. For example, the statue of Buddha in the Sŏkkuram grotto in Korea is a representative work of Shilla culture. It is also known that this work has the elements of the international fine art of Gandhara, which fused Greek art and Buddhist culture. Hence, in the Buddha statue of the Sŏkkuram grotto, both national elements (Shilla culture) and transnational elements (Gandhara fine art) are united, manifesting the unity of universality and individuality.

Here a question arises concerning national culture and the Unification culture. What will become of the traditional national cultures of each nation when the Unification culture is formed in the future? The Marxist theory of art, which claimed the partisanship of art and the basis-superstructure theory, neglected traditional national cultures. But that will not be the case with Unificationism, which seeks to form a unified culture while preserving national cultures. Unification culture will be formed through a universal spirituality and expression of art on a higher dimension, while at the same time preserving the essences of different national cultures, each with its own individuality.

Unity of Eternity and Temporality

Every created being is a being uniting the identity-maintaining (static) four position foundation and a developmental (dynamic) four position foundation; therefore, each created being exists as a being uniting immutability and mutability-hence, as the unity of eternity and tempo-rarity. Likewise, in an art work, the eternal and temporal elements are united.

For example, the Angelus by Millet pictures a church, a farmer and his wife in prayer, and a countryside landscape, which we can regard as the unity of eternity and temporality. The church and the image of people in prayer transcend the ages and are eternal, but the countryside landscape and the clothes worn by the husband and wife are temporary, unique to that particular period of time.

As another example, we can cite the flowers arranged in a vase. The flowers themselves represent something eternal, which has existed from time immemorial, but the way of arranging the flowers and the vase itself are characteristic of a given period. Accordingly, the unity of eternity and temporality is manifested there. The beauty of an art work will become even more striking if we are able to grasp and appreciate a “moment in eternity,” or “eternity in a moment,” as thus described.

VIII. Art and Ethics

Recently, the vulgarization of art has often been discussed, even in the news media, and the relationship between art and ethics has become an issue. Art is one form of human dominion over the creation. Dominion over the creation, from the original standpoint, is intended to be carried out only by those who have reached perfection after passing through the growth process, which includes the three stages of formation, growth, and completion. Perfection means the perfection of love and the perfection of character. Therefore, one is meant first to become a loving person or an ethical person, and upon that foundation, to have dominion over all things. This means that an artist should first be an ethical person before he or she is an artist.

We can understand the relationship between ethics and art from the perspective of the relationship between love and beauty. Love is an emotional force that the subject gives to the object, and beauty is an emotional stimulation that the subject receives from the object. Thus, love and beauty are so closely related that they are like the two sides of a coin. Hence, we can understand that ethics, which deals with love, and art, which deals with beauty, are inseparably related. When we look at art and ethics in this way, we come to the conclusion that true beauty can only be established on the basis of true love.

Up to the present, however, such has not been the case with many artists. This is because there has not been any firm philosophical explanation as to why artists must be ethical. As a result, even though many artists, especially writers, have dealt with love as their theme, in most cases the love they dealt with was the non-principled love of the fallen world.

History is filled with such examples. Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), who advocated aestheticism (art-for-art’s sake), was imprisoned on charges of homosexuality and died in disappointment and poverty. The romanticist poet Lord Byron (1788-1824) engaged in creative activity while carrying on licentious affairs with many women, and led a dissipated life. The works of such artists are little more than expressions of their fallen love, or their agony.

On the other hand, there have been writers who tried to express the ideal of true love. Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910) was one of these. While exposing fallen life in the upper class of Russian society of his time, he expressed true love. That is to say, while employing realism to express reality, he employed the style of idealism, pursuing the ideal. However, there have been very few artists, like Tolstoy, who have engaged in creative activity while pursuing true love.

IX. Types of Beauty

Let us now consider the various types of beauty. Since traditional aesthetics have discussed the types of beauty, I would like to consider this topic from the Unification Thought perspective.

A. Types of Love and Beauty from the Perspective of Unification Thought

Beauty is determined when a subject and an object engage in give and receive action centering on purpose. Accordingly, beauty varies depending on the observer (subject), and also depending on the type of object (an art work, a natural thing). Accordingly, there is a virtually infinite diversity in beauty; however, the various types of beauty can be categorized by grouping similar kinds of beauty. So, some scholars have tried to present what they regard as the basic types of beauty and to characterize the special qualities of each type.

From the Unification Thought viewpoint, as already mentioned, love and beauty are inseparable, and beauty can not exist apart from love. The more parents love their children, the more beautiful the children appear. Thus, as love increases in quantity, beauty is also felt to increase in quantity. This is because love and beauty form a reciprocal circuit in the give and receive action between subject and object partners. That is to say, the giver gives love, and the receiver receives it as beauty. In this way love and beauty are two sides of a coin. Accordingly, in thinking about the types of beauty, the first thing to do is to consider the various types of love.

God’s love is manifested in the family as the three divisional forms of parents’ love, husband and wife’s love, and children’s love (If brothers and sisters’ love which is included in children’s love is dealt with separately, there are four forms of divisional love). These three forms of divisional love are the basic patterns of love, which can further be divided into (1) fatherly love, (2) motherly love, (3) husband’s love, (4) wife’s love, (5) son’s love, and (6) daughter’s love.

Thus, the three basic types of divisional love are further divided into the pairs of unilateral love of both genders. These six kinds of unilateral love can be further divided into more subtly detailed kinds of love, manifesting more diverse types of love. For example, fatherly love has the qualities of strictness, magnanimity, broadness, solemnity, profound-ness, awesomeness, and so on. Accordingly, fatherly love is manifested in the forms of strict love, magnanimous love, broad love, solemn love, profound love, awesome love, and so on. On the other hand, motherly love is mild and peaceful, and is manifested as graceful love, noble love, warm love, delicate love, gentle love, passionate love, and so on.

Next is conjugal love. A husband’s love is masculine love, and so it is manifested to the wife as active love, trustworthy love, courageous love, resolute love, and so on. A wife’s love is feminine love, and appears to her husband as passive love, supportive love, obedient love, reserved love, and so on.

Children’s love appears to their parents as filial love, obedient love, dependent love, cute love, comical love, and so on. In addition, there are an elder brother’s love for his younger brothers and sisters, an elder sister’s love for her younger brothers and sisters, a younger brother’s love for his elder brothers and sisters, and a younger sister’s love for her elder brothers and sisters -all these various modes of love are included in the concept of children’s love. Thus, the three basic forms of love are divided into pairs of unilateral loves, and further diversified, appearing as innumerable “colors” of love.

In correspondence to these various types of love, the different types of beauty are manifested. First, corresponding to the three basic forms of love, three basic forms of beauty are established, namely, parental beauty, conjugal beauty, and children’s beauty. These can be further diversified as unilateral forms of beauty: (1) fatherly beauty, (2) motherly beauty, (3) husband’s beauty, (4) wife’s beauty, (5) son’s beauty, and (6) daughter’s beauty. These can be further sub-divided into the beauties of the accompanying diverse characteristics. They are as follows:

Fatherly beauty : strict beauty, magnanimous beauty, broad beauty, solemn beauty, profound beauty, awesome beauty, etc.

Motherly beauty : graceful beauty, noble beauty, warm-hearted beauty, delicate beauty, gentle beauty, passionate beauty, etc.

Husband’s beauty : masculine beauty, active beauty, trustworthy beauty, courageous beauty, resolute beauty, brave beauty, prudent beauty, etc.

Wife’s beauty : feminine beauty, passive beauty, supportive beauty, obedient beauty, calm beauty, tender beauty, cheerful beauty, reserved beauty, etc.

Son’s beauty : filial beauty, obedient beauty, dependent beauty, youthful beauty, comical beauty, cute beauty, all of which have boyish characteristics, etc.

Daughter’s beauty : filial beauty, obedient beauty, dependent beauty, youthful beauty, comical beauty, cute beauty, all of which have girlish characteristics, etc.

The love a father gives to his children is not always mild and warm. When his children do something wrong, he may scold them severely. On such occasions, children may feel bad, but later they feel grateful. Not only spring-like, warm love but also winter-like, strict love is a form of love. Such strict love can be felt by children as beauty, which can be called a strict kind of beauty. Or suppose a child has made a mistake and comes back home seriously expecting to be scolded severely by his or her father. Then, suppose the father unexpectedly forgives the child saying, “That’s all right.” That child would feel an ocean-like, broad beauty from the father on such an occasion. This is a kind of magnanimous beauty. Thus, when children receive various kinds of love from their father, they feel various kinds of beauty, with various nuances accordingly. In con-trast, a mother’s love is different from a father’s love. A mother’s love is mild and peaceful. Children feel such love from their mother as a graceful and gentle beauty. A husband’s love is felt by the wife as masculine and sturdy. This is masculine beauty. In return, a wife’s love is felt by the husband as feminine and tender. This is feminine beauty.

It is the original nature of children to try to please their parents. Children try to somehow please their parents by, for example, studying hard, drawing pictures, dancing around, or doing other things. This is children’s love, and parents can perceive their actions as cute beauty. Or sometimes parents may feel it is very comical. This is comical beauty. Moreover, as children grow up, beauty corresponding to their age comes to be felt by their parents. Also, children’s love is felt differently, depending on whether it is expressed by sons or daughters, as a son’s beauty and a daughter’s beauty. Also, unique kinds of beauty-namely, brotherly beauty and sisterly beauty -are manifested among children (brothers and sisters), corresponding to brotherly love or sisterly love. In this way, we experience various kinds or nuances of beauty as we grow up in our own family.

The various above-mentioned types of beauty can be further com-pounded, divided, or transformed, and innumerable kinds of beauty manifested. The feelings of beauty that we feel when we encounter nature and works of art are all derived from the types of beauty experienced in the family. In other words, the various forms of beauty experienced in human relationships based on the family are projected onto nature and works of art and are felt as the beauty of nature and art works. We thus have a basis for categorizing the various types of beauty experienced in nature and in works of art.

For example, when seeing a towering mountain or watching a waterfall descending from a lofty cliff, a person can feel a solemn kind of beauty, which is an extension and transformation of fatherly beauty. When admiring a quiet lake or a calm meadow, the beauty we feel is an extension and transformation of motherly beauty. The loveliness of the offspring of animals or sprouting plants is the extension or transformation of children’s beauty. The same can be said about works of art. Paintings and statues of the Holy Mother Mary are the expression of motherly beauty, and Gothic architecture can be seen as the extension or transfor-mation of fatherly beauty.

B. Traditional Types of Beauty

In the history of aesthetics, the basic types of beauty were regarded as being grace (Grazie) and the sublime (Erhabenheit). Grace is the type of beauty that gives us pleasure quite affirmatively and directly; we feel it expressed as a well-balanced beauty of harmony. On the other hand, the sublime is the type of beauty that gives us a sense of wonder, or a feeling of awe-as the feeling one has when looking at a tall mountain or a surging wave.

Kant, for example, held that in beauty (grace) there are the components of free beauty (freie Schönheit) and dependent beauty (anhängende Schönhei). Free beauty refers to the beauty felt in common by anybody, and not restricted by any particular concept. Dependent beauty refers to a beauty that depends on a certain purpose (or concept), and which is felt as being beautiful because of its appropriateness, such as its appropriateness for wearing or appropriateness as a place in which to live. In addition, pure beauty (Reinschöne), tragic beauty (Tragische), comical beauty (Komische), and other types are generally mentioned in theories of art.

These traditional types of beauty have merely been specified through human experience, however, and any criteria for their classification have been ambiguous. In contrast, the types of beauty set forth in the Unification Theory of Art are based on clear principles, namely, on the various types of love.

X. A Critique and Counterproposal to Socialist Realism

A. Socialist Realism

Among the various Communist revolutionary activities, one which played an important role was artistic activity, whose style of creation was called “socialist realism.” What, then, was socialist realism? Lenin said that art should stand on the side of the proletariat, as follows:

Art belongs to the people. The deepest wellspring of art must be found among the wide-ranging class of laborers…. Art should be based on their feelings, thoughts, and demands, and should grow along with them.15

[Literature] must become party literature…. Down with non-partisan writers! Down with literary supermen! Literature must become part of the common cause of the proletariat, “a cog and a screw” of one single great Social-Democratic mechanism set in motion by the entire politically-conscious vanguard of the entire working class.16

Also, the founder of socialist realism in literature, Maxim Gorky (1868 -1936), stated the following about socialist realism:

For us writers, it is necessary in our life and in our creative work to stand on the high viewpoint-and only on that viewpoint that can see clearly all of the filthy crimes of capitalism, all of its mean and bloody intentions, and all of the greatness of the heroic activities of the proletariat.17

In the contemporary age, writers assume the mission to play two roles at the same time, that of a midwife [to socialism] and a grave digger [to capitalism].18

The main goal of socialist realism lies in inspiring a socialistic, revolutionary world view, or world sense.19

To state these sentiments in another way, writing poetry and novels, painting, and so forth, should all be carried out for the sole purpose of exposing the crimes of capitalism and praising socialism, and works should be created to inspire readers and viewers to stand up for revolution, with a righteously burning mind.

Socialist realism was formulated by Soviet artists under the guidance of Stalin in 1932, and came to be applied to all artistic fields, including literature, drama, cinema, painting, sculpture, music, and architecture. It advocated the following:

(1) To describe reality accurately with historic concreteness in its revolutionary development.

(2) To match one’s artistic expression with the themes of ideological reform and the education of the workers in the socialist spirit.

What is the theoretical ground that gave rise to such socialist realism? This ground can be found in the Marxist theory of “basis and superstruc-ture.” Marx stated in the Introduction to A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy as follows:

The totality of these relations of production constitutes the economic structure of society, the real foundation, on which arises a legal and political superstructure and to which correspond definite forms of social consciousness [including art].20

Stalin further elaborated the theory of “basis and superstructure” as follows:

Having come into being, it [the superstructure] becomes an exceedingly active force, actively assisting its base to take shape and consolidate itself…. The superstructure is created by the base precisely in order to serve it, to actively help it to take shape and consolidate itself.21

The superstructure is the product of one epoch, the epoch in which the given economic base exists and operates. The superstructure is therefore short-lived; it is eliminated and disappears with the elimination and disappearance of the given base.22

To synthesize and summarize, the above quotes are saying that “Communist art must actively cooperate in eliminating the capitalist system and its superstructure, whereas in Communist society [socialist society], it must actively serve to maintain and strengthen its economic system, while educating the working people.” Based upon this theory, socialist realism was established.

B. Critiques of Socialist Realism

As indicated by Lenin’s words, “Literature must belong to the Party”; by Stalin’s words, “Writers are the engineers of the human spirit”; and by Gorky’s words, “Writers are the midwife to socialism, and the gravedigger to capitalism,” artists and writers were required to obey the Party’s directives absolutely, and their individuality and freedom were totally disregarded. As a result, since the beginning of the Revolution, artists and writers lived under surveillance and oppression in the Soviet Union until its collapse. Especially in the late 1930s, when Stalin promoted socialist realism, a great number of artists and writers were arrested and purged as heretics.23 Even after Stalin’s death, socialist realism continued to reign as the accepted theory of art, and consequently many artists and writers became dissidents.

Criticizing socialist realism, art critic Herbert Read said, “Socialist realism is nothing but an attempt to stuff intellectual or dogmatic objectives into art.” 24 Ilya G. Ehrenburg (1891-1967), a Soviet journalist and novelist who was awarded the Stalin Prize for two of his novels, but later became critical of Stalin, said, “What is described in a book depicting weaving women in a spinning mill is not a human being but a machine, and not human feelings but merely the process of production.” 25 Thus, he criticized the image of the human being depicted in socialist realism. The Korean art critic Yohan Cho also criticized the image of the human being in socialist realism, as follows:

The farmers and workers whom they [the Soviet writers] described were wonderful heroes and heroines who did not show even the faintest sign of uneasiness. It was all the more so since a theory of no conflict was spread. That is, they do not seem to have any kind of anxiety whatsoever. They were the ones who had no life of their own…. Therefore, that writing could never express a person’s internal world.26

In April 1986, an accident occurred at the nuclear power plant of Chernobyl in the Ukraine Republic of the U.S.S.R. Concerning the accident, Mikhail Gorbachev confirmed that the Soviet bureaucracy was responsible for the disaster, and said, “This is a tragedy. The nuclear accident was a great disaster, but it is even more regrettable to confirm that bureaucracy is deeply rooted in our society.” Then, at the end of June, 1986, he attended a meeting of the Writers’ Union and appealed to the writers, saying, “At the time of the Revolution, Gorky exposed and condemned the corruption and crimes of public officials. In the same way, Soviet public officials today have lapsed into bureaucratism, and there is a lot of vice. So, you writers should not hesitate to criticize them through your works.” Then, a group of writers allegedly requested the Soviet government to stop its censorship of literary works. They did so because to date Soviet artists and writers have been deprived of freedom, in the name of socialist realism.

In Communist China, Mao Ze-dong granted freedom to intellectuals for a while, with his policy of “letting a hundred schools of thought contend,” prior to the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution. When that happened, most intellectuals criticized the socialist policies. Later, they were severely persecuted. When Deng Ziaoping grasped the political power and adopted pragmatic policies, he began to grant freedom to intellectuals bit by bit. As a result, a renowned theorist of Communist China, Wang Ruo, revealed that in socialism there is human alienation just as there is in capitalism.

When we consider these facts, we realize that socialist realism, as art for the proletarian revolution and as art that is subservient to party policy, has proved itself to be totally false art.

C. An Indictment of Communism by Notable Writers

Communist leaders compelled artists and writers to praise Communism from the viewpoint of socialist realism. Even under the Communist regime, however, the artists and writers who pursued true art, at home and abroad, indicted Communism for its falsehood.

André Gide (1869-1951), a French writer who had been fascinated by Communism, attended Gorky’s funeral in 1936, and afterwards traveled in the Soviet Union for a month. He candidly expressed, in his book Back From the U.S.S.R., his disappointment with the Soviet society he saw on that occasion. He said in the introduction,

Three years ago I declared my admiration, my love, for the U.S.S.R. An unprecedented experiment was being attempted there, which filled our hearts with hope and from which we expected an immense advance, an impetus capable of carrying forward in its stride the whole human race…. In our hearts and in our minds we resolutely linked the future of culture itself with the glorious destiny of the U.S.S.R.27

However, after coming in contact with the Soviet people during his one-month trip, he wrote the following impressions:

In the U.S.S.R. everybody knows beforehand, once and for all, that on any and every subject there can be only one opinion…. So that every time you talk to one Russian you feel as if you were talking to them all.28

Finally, he fiercely denounced the Soviet Union as follows:

What is desired and demanded is approval of all that is done in the U.S.S.R.,…. And I doubt whether in any other country in the world, even Hitler’s Germany, thought be less free, more bowed down, more fearful (terrorized), more vassalized.29

The Soviet writer Boris L. Pasternak (1829-1960) secretly wrote Doctor Zhivago, in which he expressed his disappointment with the Russian Revolution, and advocated the philosophy of love. That book was published, not in the Soviet Union but in foreign countries, and was received favorably. It was decided to award Pasternak the Nobel Prize but, as a result, at home he was expelled from the Writer’s Union and denounced as a reactionary anti- Socialist writer. Pasternak stated in that book, through Zhivago, who represented his own conscience, the following:

Marxism a science?… Marxism is too uncertain of its ground to be a science. Sciences are more balanced, more objective. I do not know a movement more self-centered and further removed from the facts than Marxism.30

He also denounced the attitude taken by the revolutionaries toward intellectuals, saying,

At first everything was splendid. “Come along. We welcome good, honest work, we welcome ideas, especially new ideas. What could please us better? Do your work, struggle, and carry on.” Then, you find in practice that what they meant by ideas is nothing but words-claptrap in praise of the revolution and the regime.31

D. Errors in the Communist Theory of Art Seen from the Perspective of Unification Thought

What are the causes of the errors of socialist realism?

First, socialist realism does not regard art as the “activity of creating beauty and joy for the whole (creation) as well as for oneself (appreciation) while respecting the individuality of the artist,” but as a means of educating the people, while conforming to Party policy. Artists should manifest their individuality in their work to the utmost degree. By so doing, they please God and other people. Socialist realism, however, has deprived artists of their individual expression and has standardized all works of art. Therefore, there is no way for true art to be born out of it.

Second, socialist realism denies God; therefore, it has lost the funda-mental standard of artistic activity. It establishes, instead, arbitrary standards based on Party policy, forcing artists and writers to conform to them.

Third, since beauty and love are as closely related as two sides of a coin, art and ethics must also be in an inseparable relationship. Yet, since Communism ignores this fact and denies the ethics of love, it has transformed art into art without love, or art as a tool of the Communist Party to rule the people.

Fourth, art is not a part of the superstructure. Nevertheless, socialist realism regards art as such and reduces it to the status of a servant of the economic system (the “base”). In reality, however, art is not determined by the economic system. Marx himself made the following confession in the latter part of his Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy:

The difficulty we are confronted with is not, however, that of under-standing how Greek art and epic poetry are associated with certain forms of social development. The difficulty is that they still give us aesthetic pleasure and are in certain respects regarded as a standard and unattainable ideal.32

According to the materialist conception of history, Greek culture (part of the superstructure) should have disappeared by the time of Marx without leaving a trace, and contemporary people should have felt no interest in it. But Marx felt difficulty in the fact that Greek art and epic poetry, such as The Iliad and The Odyssey, not only gave contemporary people joy, but had even become the models of art. This is nothing but Marx’s own testimony to the error of his theory of “basis and super-structure.”

Human beings have the fundamental desire to pursue the values of truth, goodness, and beauty. Even though fallen, all people possess it at all times and in all places. Therefore, if the values of truth, goodness, and beauty are expressed in a work of art, that work moves everyone’s heart. The fact that Greek art has continued to be enjoyed by people even until today means that it contains eternal values of truth, goodness, and beauty.

Finally, let us consider the writers Gorky and Tolstoy, both of whom, though totally different in style, in the same way and in almost the same period, condemned the corruption of Russian society prior to the Revolution.

Gorky conformed with Communism, which sought to violently over-throw capitalism, and asserted that the mission of the artist lay in inspiring revolutions. Thus, he wrote works that glorified the revolutionary movement. Mother, by Gorky, has been regarded as a literary masterpiece of socialist realism. It depicts the image of a mother who, although she is an uneducated working woman, is strongly motivated by a desire to protect her only son, a son thrown into prison on charges of revolutionary activities, and becomes gradually awakened to the class nature of society. Finally, she herself becomes an active participant in the revolutionary movement.

On the other hand, while condemning social evils, Tolstoy advocated that the way to resolve them lay in the recovery of true human nature through love. One of Tolstoy’s masterpieces is Resurrection. An aristocratic young man, appearing in court as a member of a jury, comes to learn that a young woman whom he seduced by mistake in his younger days has become degraded, and is being judged. He becomes conscience-stricken, repents, and decides to save her. Finally, she is rehabilitated, and the young man also starts a new life.

The way Gorky chose was the external way of social revolution, whereas that of Tolstoy was the internal way of spiritual revolution. Which was the correct way? The way of violent revolution, chosen by Gorky, was the wrong way, as the realities of the socialist countries following revolution-the oppression of human nature and the corruption of bureaucrats-indicates. On the other hand, the way Tolstoy chose was the true way, in that it was the way to recover human nature. It must be pointed out, however, that it still had its limits in saving society as a whole.

Unification Thought pursues the way for both humankind and society to be reformed into what they were originally intended to be. This becomes possible by understanding God correctly. In other words, by knowing correctly the attributes of God, who created humankind and the world, we can learn the ideal state of humankind and society as they were originally intended to be. All that must be done then is to begin to reform humankind and society in that direction. The new art advocated by Unification Thought is Unificationism, in which idealism and realism are unified, centering on God’s Heart (love). Unificationism seeks to reform reality toward the original ideal of humankind and society.

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© 2006 The Research Institute for the Integration of World Thought. All rights reserved.