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




Methodology is the study of how one can reach objective truth. In fact, the English word method is derived from the Greek word meta (following) and hodos (the way). Thus, “method” implies that in order to attain some purpose, one should follow a certain way. From the time of ancient Greece until today, many philosophers developed their own unique methodologies to find the truth. Here we will first take up some representative traditional methodologies, and then present the method-ology of Unification Thought, that is Unification methodology. Finally, we will examine some of the traditional methodologies from the standpoint of Unification Thought. What I should add here is that it is not my intention to introduce the traditional methodologies in all of their academic detail. I will only introduce certain main points of those methodologies in order to clarify that Unification methodology can solve their problems.

I. Historical Review

Heraclitus’ Dialectic -A Dynamic Method

Heraclitus (ca. 535-475 BC), called the founder of the dialectic by Hegel, considered the fundamental matter of the universe to be fire and regarded fire as constantly changing. Stating that “everything is in a state of flux,” he held that nothing is eternal; rather, everything is in a state of generation and movement. Further, stating that “war is the father and the king of all,” he considered everything to be generating and changing through the conflict of opposites. In that way, Heraclitus grasped all things in the aspects of generation, change, and flux; thus, his method was called dialectic by Hegel. Nevertheless, he held that there is something unchangeable in generation and change, namely, law, which he called Logos. Also, he held that in all things, harmony arises through conflict. Heraclitus’ methodology deals with the way nature is, and with its development. His dialectic, which seeks to grasp the dynamic aspect of things in this way, could be called a dynamic method.

Zeno’s Dialectic -A Static Method

Contrary to Heraclitus, who asserted that everything is in a state of flux, Parmenides (ca. 510 BC) of the Eleatic school held that there is neither generation nor destruction; neither motion or change. Inheriting Parmenides’ idea, Zeno of Elea (ca. 490-430 BC) denied movement, and tried to prove that there are only motionless beings.

Zeno cited four proofs for his view that material bodies, though appearing to be moving, are, in fact, not moving at all. One of his proofs is that Achilles can not ever overtake a tortoise. Achilles was a hero who distinguished himself during the Trojan War. Though a very fast runner, still he could not overtake a tortoise, Zeno maintained. Suppose the tortoise starts first; after the tortoise has advanced to a certain point, Achilles starts running after it. When Achilles arrives at the place where the tortoise was when he started, the tortoise has already gone ahead a certain distance. When Achilles arrives at that next place, the tortoise has already advanced again by a certain distance. Consequently, the tortoise is always ahead of Achilles.

Another proof offered by Zeno was that a flying arrow is always at rest. Suppose an arrow is flying from point A toward point C. Between A and C, the arrow passes the pints B1, B2, B3,…. To pass through these points means to stop at each point for a moment. Since the distance between A and C is a continuum of an innumerable number of points, the arrow is continuously at rest. Therefore, the arrow is always at rest.

Zeno’s method is the art of dispute through question and answer, whereby one refutes his opponent by exposing contradictions in his argument, while examining his assertions. Aristotle called him the founder of the dialectic. Zeno’s dialectic, which denied movement and proved that there are only motionless beings, could be called a static method.

Socrates’ Dialectic-A Method of Dialogue

In the latter half of the fifth century BC, democratic politics was developed in Athens. During that time, young people made an effort to learn the art of persuasion in order to succeed in politics. Therefore, there appeared professionals who specialized in teaching young people the art of persuasion. They were called sophists.

Early Greek philosophy dealt with nature as its object of study; but the sophists turned away from the philosophy of nature to discuss human and social problems. They realized, however, that, while nature has objectivity and necessity, human matters are relative; as a result, relativism, which claimed that the understanding of human matters is different according to one’s subjective view, and skepticism which gave up the effort in finding solutions to human problems, gained influence. Sophists, who walked around the polis, could witness the fact that the standard of judgment differed from place to place, and so they came to assert that no truth exists with regard to human beings. As a result, the art of persuasion that they taught attached importance only to the method of refuting one’s opponents, and came to use even sophistry for that purpose.

Socrates (470-399 BC) deplored the fact that sophists were confusing people in that way and asserted that what is important is the virtue with which one should live, rather than any technical knowledge designed for political success. For him, only true knowledge can show what virtue really is. He held that in order to attain truth, what is necessary, first of all, is to accept one’s own ignorance, and stated, “Know thyself.” Also, he asserted that, with a humble heart, one could reach the truth by engaging in dialogue with another person. Then, starting from the particular, we can be led to universal conclusions. To attain the truth is to evoke, through asking questions, the truth dormant in the mind of a person and, in this way, to draw forth the truth already inherent in the person’s mind. Socrates named this process midwifery. His method of pursuing the truth is called a dialectic, and it takes place through discussion.

Plato’s Dialectic -A Method of Division

Plato (427-347 BC), a disciple of Socrates, tried to explain how true knowledge, concerning the virtue referred to by Socrates, comes to be obtained. Plato maintained the existence of non-material being, which is the essence of a thing, and he called it Idea, or form (eidos). Among scores of Ideas he regarded the Idea of the Good as supreme, and asserted that only when people intuit the Idea of the Good can they lead the supreme life. According to Plato, that which truly exists is Idea, and the phenomenal world is but a copy of the world of Ideas. Accordingly, a knowledge of the Ideas is indeed true knowledge. He also called his method, the cognition of Ideas, the dialectic.

Plato’s dialectic sought to determine the relationships between Ideas and to explain the structure of Ideas, which placed the Idea of the Good at the apex. In the cognition of Ideas, there are two directions: The first progresses from the upper to the lower through the division of the generic concepts into specific concepts; the second progresses from the lower to the upper through synthesizing the concepts of individual things, aiming at the supreme concept. Between the two methods, the direction of synthesis corresponds to Socrates’ dialectic; the direction of division is most typically Plato’s. Thus, when we refer to Plato’s dialectic, we usually mean the method by division.

In contrast to Socrates, who held that knowledge could be obtained through a dialogue between persons, Plato proposed his dialectic as a method of classifying concepts, or a method of self-questioning and self-answering, namely, a method of questioning and answering taking place in one’s own mind.

Aristotle’s Deductive Method

The study of how correct knowledge can be obtained was systematized by Aristotle (384-322 BC) as the science of knowledge, that is, logic. Logic, which was compiled in his Organon, was regarded as an instrument for reaching truth through proper thinking, as a science preliminary to the various other sciences.

According to Aristotle, true knowledge should be obtained through logical proof. He recognized the inductive method as well, in which one proceeds from the particular to the universal; but Aristotle regarded it as less than perfect. He thought that the deductive method, in which the particulars are deduced from the universal, would provide surer knowledge. The fundamental tool of this method is the syllogism, a representative example of which is as follows:

All men are mortal. (Major Premise)

Socrates is a man. (Minor Premise)

Therefore, Socrates is mortal. (Conclusion)

In the Middle Ages, great importance was attached to Aristotle’s logic as an instrument for proving the propositions of theology and philosophy deductively. The Aristotelian syllogism has been recognized for two thousand years, hardly undergoing any change.

Bacon’s Inductive Method

Throughout the Middle Ages God was regarded as being transcen-dental, but during the Renaissance, the perception of the transcendental character of God was gradually lost among philosophers. Moreover, there arose a pantheistic philosophy of nature, which regarded God as inherent in nature. At the time when the Middle Ages came to an end and the Modern Age began, a philosopher proposed a new methodology with which to study nature. His name was Francis Bacon (1561-1626).

According to Bacon, previous studies, based on metaphysics, were “sterile and like a virgin consecrated to God, producing nothing,” mainly because they employed Aristotle’s method. Aristotle’s logic was a method for the sake of logical proof. With such logic, one might persuade others. With it, however, one could not obtain truths from nature. Thus, Bacon advocated the inductive method as the logic for finding new truth. He named his own discourse on logic New Organon, in contrast to Aristotle’s Organon.

Asserting that traditional studies, which were based on Aristotle’s logic, had been nothing but logical arguments of useless words, Bacon held that in order to obtain sure knowledge, we must first eliminate those prejudices to which we are liable, and then directly explore nature itself. Those prejudices he called the four Idols (see “Epistemology”). After eliminating these Idols, we will be able to observe nature with a clear mind and make observations and experiments. In that way, we can find universal essences existing within individual phenomena. Inductive methods before Bacon had sought to derive general laws from a small number of observations and experiments; Bacon, however, tried to present a true inductive method in order to obtain sure knowledge by collecting as many cases as possible, even attaching importance to negative instances.

Descartes’ Methodic Doubt

Due to the remarkable achievements made in the natural sciences since the Renaissance period, seventeenth century philosophy regarded the mechanistic view of nature as absolute truth, and tried not to contradict it. Rationalism tried to provide a foundation for the mechanistic view of nature from a fundamental standpoint. Its representative proponent was René Descartes (1596-1650). Descartes considered the mathematical method to be the only true method; thus, as in mathematics, he first looked for an intuitive truth that was obvious to everyone, and then based upon that, he sought to develop a new, certain truth deductively.

Thus, there arose the question of how one could seek an intuitive truth that could become the starting point of philosophy. Descartes’ method was to doubt as much as he could in order to pursue an absolutely reliable truth, which could then become the principle for all knowledge. Even though he doubted everything, however, he noticed that the fact that he, who doubted, existed could not be doubted. He expressed this in his famous proposition, “I think, therefore I am” (cogito ergo sum). Next, he asked why that proposition was certain without any proof, and he answered that it was because that proposition was clear and distinct. From that point he derived the general rule that “things we conceive very clearly and very distinctly are all true.” Cartesian doubt is not for the sake of doubt, but for the sake of discovering truth. It is called methodic doubt. Descartes tried to obtain sure knowledge by following the mathematical method, with which one starts with axioms that can be intuited clearly and distinctly, and then goes on to prove various propositions.

Hume’s Empiricism

Contrary to rationalism, represented by Descartes, empiricism, emerging in Britain, took the position of explaining mental phenomena on the basis of natural laws discovered empirically. In order to find a complete system of sciences, David Hume (1711-76) analyzed the mental processes of the human mind objectively, with a new method of finding truth. Through his search for the unchanging, natural laws in the human mind, Hume tried to clarify the foundation of all the sciences, wherein the human mind is involved.

Hume analyzed ideas, which are the elements of the human mind. According to Hume, when simple ideas are associated with each other to bring about complex ideas, there are three principles of association: resemblance, contiguity in time and space, and cause and effect. Among these three, he held that the resemblance of ideas and the contiguity of ideas are sure knowledge, whereas cause and effect is merely a subjective belief. As a result, Hume’s empiricism fell into skepticism, which asserted that objective knowledge can not be obtained even through inductive inference based on experience and observation. He came to deny all forms of metaphysics and even regarded the natural sciences as insecure.

Kant’s Transcendental Method

Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) started from the position of rationalism and natural science. He proclaimed that Hume had awakened him from his “dogmatic slumber,”1 by which he meant that he felt obliged by Hume’s criticism of causality to deal with the question of how causality could have objective validity.2 If causality remains a subjective belief, as Hume has stated, the law of cause and effect naturally loses its objective validity, and natural science, which is established on the basis of the law of cause and effect, ceases to be a system of truth with objective validity. Thus, Kant questioned how experience in general is possible, and how objective truth can be obtained. With his transcendental method he tried to solve these problems.

Kant reasoned that if, as Hume had said, cognition is wholly depend-ent on experience, we can never reach objective truth. So Kant, who pursued the question of how objective truth can be obtained, examined human reason critically and discovered that there exist a priori elements, or forms, within the subject. That is to say, Kant asserted that there exist a priori forms of cognition, common to every person, prior to experience. Those a priori forms are the intuitive forms of time and space and the pure concepts of understanding (categories). According to Kant, cognition is not achieved by grasping the actual object as it is, but the object of cognition is synthesized through the subject’s a priori forms.

Hegel’s Idealistic Dialectic

While Kant’s method was aimed at discovering how objective truth could become possible, the method of Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770-1831) is the logic of thought, called dialectic, which is identified with the logic of reality.

Kant proposed a priori concepts in order to guarantee the objective truth. Hegel, on the other hand held that, while a concept is a priori, it moves by transcending itself. That is, from the position of affirming itself, the concept comes to know that there exists a determination incompatible with itself, and then transcends both these two contradictory determinations in order to develop to a position that synthesizes the two. Hegel named these three stages “in itself,” “for itself,” and “in and for itself.” These three stages are also called affirmation, negation, and negation of negation; or thesis, antithesis, and synthesis.

Hegel regarded contradiction to be the driving force of the self-development of a concept. He said, “Contradiction is the root of all movement and vitality; it is only in so far as something has a contradiction within it that it moves, has an urge and activity.”3 In this way, the logic of self-development through contradiction is the root of Hegel’s dialectic. Hegel states that a concept develops by itself to become an Idea; the concept (Idea) negates itself, is alienated and emerges as Nature; then develops through human being as Spirit. Thus, Hegel’s dialectic is the method of development of a concept, and at the same time the method of development of the objective world.

Marx’s Materialistic Dialectic

In the modern age, the dialectical method was developed by German idealists, and Hegel stood at its apex. Karl Marx (1818-83) held, however, that Hegel’s dialectic was distorted due to its idealism, and reversed Hegel’s idealistic dialectic from the materialist position, thereby reestablishing dialectic. According to Friedrich Engels (1820-95), Marx’s dialectic is “nothing more than the science of the general laws of motion and development of nature, human society and thought,”4 in which the development of nature and society is regarded as the basis upon which the development of thought is dependent.

Both Hegel’s idealistic dialectic and Marx’s materialistic dialectic are dialectics of contradiction that can be understood as processes of development through the three stages of thesis, antithesis, and synthesis. Contradiction is the state in which one element rejects (negates) another, while maintaining a mutual relationship at the same time. In the case of Hegel’s dialectic, the emphasis is placed more on synthesis (unity), while in the case of Marx’s dialectic, the idea of struggle, in which one party overthrows and annihilates the other, is added to the concept of contra-diction.

According to Engels, the fundamental laws of the materialist dialectic consist of the following three laws: (1) the law of the transformation of quantity into quality; (2) the law of the unity and struggle of opposites (or the law of the interpenetration of opposites); and (3) the law of the negation of negation.

The first law states that qualitative change occurs only through quanti-tative change, and when quantitative change reaches a certain stage, a sudden qualitative change occurs. The second law states that all things contain elements that are in an inseparable relationship to each other, yet reject each other, that is, are opposites, and that all things develop through the unity and struggle of these opposites. The third law states that things develop as the old stage passes to a new stage by being negated, and then passes to the third stage by again being negated. This passing over to the third stage is said to be the return to the initial stage, but on a higher dimension. (This is called “development in a spiral form.”) When Engels explained these three laws, he referred to Hegel’s Science of Logic and regarded the first law as being discussed in the Doctrine of Being, the second law in the Doctrine of Essence, and the third law in the Doctrine of Notion.

Among the three laws, the most central is the second one, namely, the law of the unity and struggle of opposites. It is said that the unity and struggle of opposites is the essence of contradiction; but in actuality, Marxists emphasize struggle more than unity. In fact, Lenin said, “The unity (coincidence, identity, equal action) of opposites is conditional, temporary, transitory, relative. The struggle of mutually exclusive oppo-sites is absolute, just as development and motion are absolute.” 5 He even went as far as to say that “development is the ‘struggle’ of opposites.” 6

Husserl’s Phenomenological Method

Edmund Husserl (1859-1938) advocated phenomenology as the first philosophy, a universal science that provides a basis for all sciences. Phenomenology deals with consciousness, which makes up theories of the sciences and with which an object is cognized. He starts with the absolute certainty of Descartes’ “I think,” and while excluding the metaphysical dogmas underlying traditional philosophies, he examined consciousness as a strict science. He tried to clarify pure consciousness intuitively, rejecting all preconceptions.

In so doing, he made “To things themselves!” his motto. The word “things”
here, does not refer to empirical facts, but rather to pure phe-nomena that manifest themselves within pure consciousness. He sought to describe these phenomena intuitively, just as they are. According to Husserl, first we should exclude empirical elements from things, and then we grasp the essence intuitively and then grasp the internal essence of consciousness, and finally analyze the structure of a priori pure consciousness.

Our everyday view regarding the natural world lying before us as self-evident is called the “natural attitude.” In this natural attitude there are, however, deep-rooted habits and preconceptions at work, and therefore, the world thus cognized can not be the true world. Thus, the “natural attitude” must change to a “phenomenological attitude,” Husserl stated. For that purpose, we need to pass through the two stages of “eidetic reduction” and “transcendental reduction.”

The term “eidetic reduction,” for Husserl, refers to entering from the factual world into the world of essence. What takes place at this point is the intuition of essences through “free variation.” In other words, when one changes existing individual beings through free imagination, and when something universal and unchanging, regardless of the variation, is intuited, one has reached the essence. For example, the essence of flower can be obtained by examining a rose, a tulip, a bud, a withering flower, etc., and extracting something unchangeable from all of these observations.

The next step that takes place is that of “transcendental reduction.” This is carried out by stopping our judgment about whether the world does or does not exist. This does not mean to deny or doubt the existence of the external world, but to “suspend,” or “bracket,” our judgment. This process is called phenomenological epochē. What remains after being bracketed (excluded) is “pure consciousness,” or “transcendental con-sciousness.” What appears in this consciousness is “pure phenomena.” This kind of attitude of seeking to comprehend pure phenomena is the phenomenological attitude (see fig. 11.1).

When we inquire into the general structure of pure consciousness, we find that it consists of noesis, which is the intentional act, and noema, which is the objective content the act refers to. The relationship between them is as that between “to think” and “to be thought.” In this way, phenomenology tries faithfully to describe pure consciousness.

Analytical Philosophy-Method of Linguistic Analysis

Analytical philosophy forms one of the mainstreams of philosophy in the contemporary Western world. Analytical philosophy is the position that generally considers that the main task of philosophy lies in the logi-cal analysis of linguistic structures. This position can be divided into two schools, namely, logical positivism in the early period, and the ordinary language school in the later period.

Logical positivism was formed centering around the philosophers of the Vienna Circle, namely, Moritz Schlick (1882-1936) and Rudolf Carnap (1891-1970). Logical positivism was influenced by “logical atomism,” proposed by Bertrand Russell (1872-1970) and Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951). According to logical atomism, the world is an agglomeration of atomic facts, which are the ultimate logical units. Logical positivism asserts that only knowledge that is verified through empirical perception is correct, and that all studies of facts should be done by science. Thus, the task of philosophy is to make a logical analysis of language so as to eliminate the ambiguities of ordinary language expressions. Renouncing conventional languages, they aimed at establishing one ideal, artificial language common to all sciences. This is the mathematical language employed by physics, or the language of physics. They sought to unify the sciences through this ideal language. The mottos of logical positivism were anti-metaphysics, the analysis of language, and scientism.

It was realized, however, that even scientific knowledge is based on unverified propositions, and that the assertions of logical positivism themselves were a form of dogma; thus, the limitations of logical positiv-ism became clear. So, an ordinary language school, centering on George Edward Moore (1873-1958) and Gilbert Ryle (1900-1976), came to be established. The ordinary language school also holds that the task of philosophy is the logical analysis of language, but it abandoned the idea of forming a single, ideal, artificial language, and considered its task to be that of clarifying the meaning of concepts and discovering the logical structure within ordinary languages. Along with this, the anti-metaphysical outlook in analytical philosophy was eased considerably.

II. Unification Methodology-Give and Receive Method

The methodology of Unification Thought is based on the Divine Principle, and is called Unification methodology. This has also the meaning that it unifies traditional methodologies. The fundamental law of Unification methodology is the “method of give and receive action,” which is simply called the “give and receive method.”

A. Kinds of Give and Receive Action

Give and receive action refers to the interaction between subject and object, and this action has a center, which serves as the motive for this action. The nature of give and receive action is determined by the nature of the center. When give and receive action is carried out centering on Heart, subject and object become united, and the result of the give and receive action is a union. When a purpose is set up by Heart, however, and give and receive action takes place centering on that purpose, a multiplied being, or a new being, is produced.

The four position foundation in the Original Image is a notion dealing with the structure of God’s attributes, which is the structure of four positions consisting of Heart (or purpose) as the center, subject, object, and a union (or a multiplied being). Seen from the viewpoint of time, Heart (or purpose), which is the center,

exists first; then, with that as the starting point, subject and object enter into give and receive action; as a result, a union or a multiplied being is formed. Here, Heart, which is the center, stands as Origin (Chung); subject and object stand as Division (Boon), in the sense that they are separated and placed face-to-face with each other; and union or multiplied being, namely, a result, stands as Union (Hap). The whole process of this give and receive action is called Origin, Division, and Union Action (Chung-Boon-Hap Action) (see fig. 11.2).

Division, in Origin-Division-Union Action means not that the Origin is divided into two halves, but that two elements are separated and placed face-to-face with each other, centering on the Origin. Division (Boon) in God means that each of the two attributes of one God are related to each other. Those two correlative attributes enter into give and receive action centering on Origin (Chung) and form Union (Hap). There are four kinds of give and receive action: identity-maintaining, developmental, inner, and outer give and receive actions. Corresponding to these, four kinds of four position foundation are formed, namely, identity-maintaining, developmental, inner, and outer four position foundations.

Identity-Maintaining and Developmental Give and Receive Actions

In God, there is the identity-maintaining, unchanging aspect in which His Sungsang and Hyungsang engage in give and receive action centering on Heart, and He exists eternally as a harmonized being, or a union; then, there is also the developmental aspect, in which His Sungsang and Hyungsang engage in give and receive action centering on purpose (purpose of creation) and produce a multiplied being, or a new being, namely, a created being. The first form of give and receive action is identity-maintaining give and receive action; the second is developmental give and receive action. All beings in the created world also perform identity-maintaining and developmental give and receive actions, maintaining both unchanging and changing (developmental) aspects.

The appearance of the universe is considered to be relatively and generally unchanging. The galaxy constantly maintains the same shape of a convex lens while revolving around the center of the universe. Within it, our solar system revolves around the center of the galaxy in a cycle of 250 million years, but is always located at the same distance from the center of the galaxy. Moreover, the disk shape of the solar system is also unchanging. The solar system has nine planets, each of which maintains its unchanged orbit while revolving around the sun. Each planet maintains its definite characteristics. In this way, the universe has unchanging, or identity-maintaining, aspects.

Yet, when seen in terms of the long period of about fifteen billion years, the universe is also found to be developing and growing. Scientists explain this fact by saying that the universe is expanding, or evolving. The universe has changed from a gaseous state into a solid state, whereby innumerable large and small heavenly bodies were formed; and on the surface of one of the planets (earth), plants, animals, and humans appeared. This process of the universe can be regarded as a kind of process of growth or development. In this way, the universe has both the aspect of identity-maintenance and that of development.

Living beings, as well, develop while maintaining their identity. In plants, seeds sprout, trunks grow, leaves develop, flowers blossom and bear fruits; in this way, they grow constantly. Still, they maintain their unchanging aspect in that they continue to exist as the same species of plant. Particular kinds of plants continue to produce the same kinds of flowers, the same kinds of fruits, etc. In other words, a plant has both the aspect of identity-maintenance and the aspect of development. Likewise, animals develop and grow while maintaining their own identity.

The same can be said of human society. In history, the rise and fall of states was continually repeated. Yet, everywhere and always the basic pattern of a state, in which the sovereign and the people are in the relationship of subject and object, remains identical. The same can be said of a family. While there were variations in the appearances of families according to the environment and the age, the relationships between parents and children, husband and wife, and so on, are unchanging. Also, individual persons constantly grow while maintaining their own characteristics as individuals. In this way, according to the law of give and receive action, in every being, unchanging characteristics (identity-maintenance) and changing characteristics (development) are united.

Inner and Outer Give and Receive Actions

Within God’s Original Sungsang, the Inner Sungsang and the Inner Hyungsang engage in give and receive action centering on Heart, forming a union. Through that, the inner four position foundation is formed, which is the internal structure of God’s Sungsang. Next, the Original Sungsang and the Original Hyungsang engage in give and receive action, forming a union. At this point, it is the outer four position foundation that is formed. When purpose is established in Heart, give and receive action assumes a dynamic, developmental nature. In the inner four position foundation, Logos (conception) is formed as a multiplied being, and in the outer four position foundation, created beings are formed as multiplied beings.

This two-stage structure of inner and outer four position foundations in God is applied without change to the creation. In the relationships between human being and all things (nature), through an inner give and receive action, the human being thinks and establishes conceptions (plans); while at the same time, through an outer give and receive action, human beings cognize and have dominion over all things. In humans, if we designate the give and receive action between spirit mind and physical mind within the human mind as the inner give and receive action, then the give and receive action between one person and another person (e.g., the give and receive action between husband and wife in a family) is the outer give and receive action. If we designate the exchanges among family members in a household as inner give and receive actions, then their exchanges with other people in society become outer give and receive actions.

Even a state has inner and outer give and receive actions. Within a state, the government and the people engage in relationships of subject and object, and thereby politics and economics are carried out. This is inner give and receive action. At the same time, political and economic relations are formed with other states; this is outer give and receive action.

In the world of nature as well, there are inner and outer give and receive actions. In the solar system, inner give and receive action takes place between the sun and the planets; at the same time, the solar system is performing outer give and receive action with other stars. Also, if we designate the give and receive action within the earth the inner give and receive action, then the give and receive action between the sun and the earth is called outer give and receive action. In living beings, inner give and receive action occurs between the nucleus and the cytoplasm in each cell, while cells perform outer give and receive action with one another.

In this way, in the relationships between human beings and all things, as well as in the relationships in human society and even in the creation, inner and outer give and receive actions take place in unity. As these inner and outer give and receive actions are carried out smoothly and harmoniously, things maintain their existence and continue to develop. Examples of inner and outer give and receive actions are shown in figure 11.3.

Now, let us consider the deductive and inductive methods of reasoning in relation to inner and outer give and receive actions. The deductive method is a method of logical development through inner give and receive action that takes place within the human mind. In contrast, the inductive method is the method of examining things in the external world-therefore, it is a method based on outer give and receive action. In Unification methodology, inner and outer give and receive actions take place in unity. Therefore, in Unification methodology, the inductive and deductive methods are united.

B. Scope of Give and Receive Action

The give and receive method is the fundamental method for existence and development in God, human beings, and nature. God, while main-taining His eternal nature through inner and outer identity-maintaining give and receive actions, created humankind and all things through inner and outer developmental give and receive actions.

In humankind, and in all things, each individual (individual truth being) maintains its existence and develops as the correlative elements within it perform inner give and receive action, and at the same time each individual performs outer give and receive action with other individuals. Give and receive action between individuals includes give and receive action between human beings, between human beings and all things, and between all things.

First, there is give and receive action between one human being and another, which includes individual interaction in family life and in social life. Educational, ethical, political, economic, and all other activities are carried out through this give and receive action.

Next is the give and receive action between human beings and all things. In this type of give and receive action, there are two cases, namely, those cases in which a human being exercises dominion over all things, and those cases in which a human being cognizes all things. The cognition of all things includes the basic study of the natural sciences, the exploration and appreciation of nature, and so forth. Dominion over all things includes applied research in the natural sciences, business and economic activities, creative activities in art, and so forth.

Finally, there is the give and receive action between one thing and another. In nature, numerous elements form an orderly organic world as they engage in give and receive actions through their respective positions -such as the give and receive action among atoms, among cells, and among stars. The interaction between parts of a machine is another example of this case.

Thinking and conversation are also carried out based on the give and receive action. That is to say, as the subjective part in thinking (inner Sungsang), namely, the functions of intellect, emotion, and will, and the objective part (inner Hyungsang), namely, ideas, concepts, laws, mathe-matical principles, etc., enter into give and receive action, human thinking is conducted.

Judgment in thinking is also based on give and receive action. For example, in the judgment, “this flower is a rose,” a contrast-type of give and receive action takes place, wherein one compares the idea “this flower” with the idea “rose.” Conversation, also, is carried out through give and receive action. I can understand what another person is saying because the notions and concepts of that person are in accord with mine, and also because the laws of thinking of the other person are in accord with mine. However, if a person talks nonsense, I can not understand what that person is saying.

C. Types of Give and Receive Action

Give and receive action has the following five types, which were explained in Ontology:

(1) Bi-Conscious Type

(2) Uni-Conscious Type

(3) Unconscious Type

(4) Heteronomous Type

(5) Contrast Type (Collation Type)

D. Characteristics of Give and Receive Action

Give and receive action has the following seven characteristics, which were also explained in Ontology:

(1) Correlativity

(2) Purposefulness and Centrality

(3) Order and Position

(4) Harmony

(5) Individuality and Connectedness

(6) Identity-Maintaining Nature and Developmental Nature

(7) Circular Motion

III. An Appraisal of Conventional Methodologies
from the Perspective of Unification Thought


Heraclitus said that “everything is in a state of flux.” It can be said that he grasped only the developmental aspect of the created world, neglecting the identity-maintaining aspect. He also said, “War is the father of all,” ascribing the cause of the development of things to the struggle of oppo-sites. Yet, in the Unification Thought view, things develop only through a harmonious give and receive action between correlative elements.


First, let us consider his theory that a flying arrow is at rest. When Zeno says that an arrow is at rest at a certain point, he is referring to a mathematical point which has no space. The actual movement of an arrow occurs within time and space. The velocity of a body in motion (v) is the distance traveled (s) divided by the time elapsed (t), and is expressed with the equation v = s / t. Therefore, the movement of an object must be considered within a definite distance (space) and within a definite period of time. The movement of an object can not be discussed in relation to a point that has only position but no space (a mathematical point). Therefore, when we speak of the movement of an object at a certain point in space, no matter how small that point may be, we must consider it within a definite space, and when we speak of movement at a certain moment, no matter how short that moment may be, we must consider it within a definite period of time. If we do so, we can say, definitely, that a moving object is not at rest, but rather moving through a certain point of time and space.

Concerning this issue, the materialist dialectic asserts that an object is, and at the same time is not, at a certain place at a certain moment, claiming that it has resolved Zeno’s paradox and has explained motion. This, however, is the same kind of sophistry as is found in Zeno’s claim. The position of an object in motion is expressed as a function of time; therefore, a certain moment corresponds to a certain position on a one-to-one basis. It can not happen that something is, and at the same time is not, at a certain place at a certain moment. In conclusion, (1) an object in motion passes through a certain space without resting in it; and (2) an object in motion is at a certain place at a certain moment of time.

The next issue is “Achilles and the tortoise.” Zeno argued only in terms of space, disregarding time; therefore, he drew the wrong conclusion in saying that Achilles is unable to pass the tortoise. If it is seen in terms of the passage of a certain time, Achilles can definitely go ahead of the tortoise.

Zeno tried to prove that there is no motion or change, that there is no generation or destruction. To that end, he resorted to sophistry. It can be said that, contrary to Heraclitus, Zeno grasped only the identity-maintaining aspect of things, disregarding the developmental aspect.


Socrates thought that people could reach the truth by means of dialogue, with a humble heart. This is the multiplication of truth through outer give and receive action between person and person. It can be said that Socrates advocated the proper way of give and receive action between person and person (see fig. 11.4).


Plato studied the world of Ideas. As is explained in the Theory of the Original Image, there are various ideas and concepts in God’s Inner Hyungsang. Plato considered them as belonging to the world of Ideas, and by analyzing and synthesizing them, he tried to clarify a hierarchy of Ideas. Analysis and synthesis of concepts are carried out through a comparison of concepts. This is a contrast-type of give and receive action. Since this is carried out within the mind, it is inner give and receive action. Accordingly, it can be said that Plato’s method of searching for truth corresponds to the contrast-type of inner give and receive action (see fig. 11.5).


Aristotle’s deductive method is based on the syllogism. First, a universal truth is proposed; then, a more limited truth is proposed; from these two, a specific conclusion is derived. In terms of one well-known syllogism, one contrasts the major premise, “all men are mortal” with the minor premise, “Socrates is a man,” and thus derives the conclusion, “Socrates is mortal.” This is a contrast-type give and receive action between propo-sitions. Furthermore, since the proposition, “Socrates is a man” is obtained by contrasting “Socrates” and “man,” this, also, is a contrast-type give and receive action. Accordingly, Aristotle’s deductive method, as in the case of Plato, can be called the method of searching for truth through the contrast-type of inner give and receive action.


Bacon claimed that in order to obtain truth, one must cast away preju-dices (Idols) and rely on experiment and observation. If the results of experiments A, B, C, … N are all P, then conclusion P is established as a general law; this is the inductive method. The inductive method seeks to obtain truth on the basis of outer give and receive action between human beings and things (nature). Also, since this method yields a conclusion by contrasting various facts obtained through experiment and observation, it is also give and receive action of the contrast-type. Therefore, Bacon’s inductive method is the method of pursuing truth through the contrast-type of outer give and receive action (see fig. 11.6).


Descartes attempted to doubt everything and, as a result, he claimed to have reached a certain first principle: “I think, therefore I am.” Here, the fact that Descartes doubted everything means that he denied everything and every phenomenon, and therefore, seen from the viewpoint of Unification Thought, it is the same as his tracing back to the stage prior to God’s creation of the universe. The observation, “I think” corresponds to God’s “plan,” or “thought,” before His creation of the universe. At this point, Descartes asserted, “I think; therefore I am.” If he had instead asked “Why do I think?,” his rationalism would not have led to dogmatism in his successors. In any case, his awareness of the truth of “I think; therefore, I am” means, from the viewpoint of Unification Thought, that he acknowledged the certainty of the inner give and receive action within the human mind. After that, he established the general rule that “things we conceive very clearly and very distinctly are true,” which guarantees the multiplication of truth through the formation of the inner four position foundation (see fig. 11.7).


Hume considered causality merely a subjective belief. However, causality is not merely subjective, but is both subjective and objective, as already explained in the chapter on epistemology. Moreover, Hume denied both material substance and spiritual substance (self), holding that there exist merely bundles of impressions and ideas. From the perspective of Unification Thought, it can be said that he saw only the inner Hyungsang (ideas) as sure things. Hume tried to establish a complete system of philosophy by analyzing mental phenomena, but the problem was that he tried to do it on the basis of separate impressions and ideas.


Kant claimed that cognition takes place when the chaotic sense content coming from the object is synthesized with the a priori forms of the subject. Unification Thought agrees with the view that cognition occurs through the interaction between the human subject and the object. However, from the perspective of Unification Thought, the subject possesses not only forms (forms of thought), but also content (images). The combination of form and content is called a prototype. Also, what comes from the object is not chaotic sense content, but content organized by forms of existence in the objective world. Contrary to Kant’s theory of synthesis, Unification Thought asserts the theory of collation. The Kantian theory of synthesis, which is based on the transcendental method can be regarded as one expression of the Unification Thought theory of collation, which is based on the give and receive method.


Hegel grasped the development of Idea and the world as a process of transcendence and the unity of contradiction-or the process of thesis, antithesis, and synthesis. From the perspective of Unification Thought, however, development does not occur through contradiction.

Development occurs when correlatives, in the relationship of subject and object, enter into give and receive action centering on purpose. This process is called Origin, Division, and Union Action. Origin here means purpose, Division means correlatives, and Union means multiplied being. Idea does not develop by itself through an inner contradiction, as Hegel claimed. Thinking is carried out as the inner Sungsang-namely, the functions of intellect, emotion, and will-acts upon the inner Hyung-sang  (including ideas), forming new ideas. This is called the development of thinking in a spiral form, as was explained in the chapter on logic. It can be seen that Hegel grasped development-which, according to Unification Thought, is give and receive action between correlatives-as an interaction between opposing elements.


Marx held that spiritual processes are merely the reflection of material processes. From the perspective of Unification Thought, however, Sung-sang (spirit) and Hyungsang (matter) are in the relationship of subject and object; therefore, there is a relationship of correspondence between spiritual laws (laws of value) and material laws.

As a counterproposal to the “law of the transformation of quantity into quality,” Unification Thought offers the “law of the balanced development of quality and quantity.” It is not correct to say that quantity is transformed into quality. Also, a sudden qualitative change does not occur when the quantitative change reaches a certain point. Quality and quantity are in the relationship of Sungsang and Hyungsang, and they change simultaneously, gradually, and stage by stage.

As a counterproposal to the “law of the unity and struggle of opposites,” Unification Thought proposes the “law of the give and receive action between correlatives.” A struggle of opposites gives rise only to destruction and ruin, and never brings about development. All things develop through the harmonious give and receive action between correlatives centered on a common purpose.

To the “law of negation of the negation,” Unification Thought proposes, as a counterproposal, the “law of affirmative development.” In nature, as well as in society, development takes place as the correlative elements of subject and object within nature and society perform harmonious give and receive action. In nature, inorganic beings perform circular motion in space and living beings perform circular motion in space and in time (spiral motion).

Among the methodologies in the past, none was more influential than the Marxist materialistic dialectic. Trying to prove that Marx’s dialectic was valid in nature as well, Engels studied natural sciences for eight years. As a result, he concluded that “nature is the proof of dialectics.”7 The errors of the materialist dialectic are now evident, however. Natural phenomena are, if examined carefully, not the “proof of dialectics,” but instead they are the “proof of the law of give and receive action” (see fig. 11.8).


Husserl first started with things of the natural world. Things are, when seen from the perspective of Unification Thought, unified beings of Sung-sang and Hyungsang. Next, he advocated the intuition of essences through eidetic reduction. Essence here corresponds to the Sungsang of existing beings. In addition, Husserl claimed that when judgment is suspended and consciousness (pure consciousness) is analyzed, there is a structure of noesis and noema. This, when seen from the perspective of Unification Thought, corresponds to the internal structure of Sungsang (mind), which consists of inner Sungsang and inner Hyungsang. A comparison between Husserl’s phenomenological method and the viewpoint of Unification Thought would be as in figure 11.9. Husserl, like Descartes, uncon-sciously considered as important that which actually corresponds to the Unification Thought concept of the inner four position foundation. In other words, he tried to unify all sciences through an analysis of the inner four position foundation.

Analytical Philosophy

Language is formed through inner developmental give and receive action, which has an intellectual aspect (logos) centered on reason, and an emotional aspect (pathos) centered on emotional feeling. Analytical philosophy grasped only the aspect of logos, and pursued only logicalness.

From the perspective of Unification Thought, language originally exists in order to actualize love, and the logical structure of language is merely a
necessary condition for that purpose. The use of language is the expression of thought, and is a kind of creative activity. The center of creative activity is heart. Therefore, an emotional element centered on love plays the subjective role in the formation of thought. Analytical philosophy engaged so much in the logical analysis of language from beginning to end, however, that it came to disregard the creative aspect and the value-created aspect of thought formed through language.

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