Everyone, without exception, is struggling to gain happiness. The first step in attaining this goal is to overcome present unhappiness. From small individual affairs to history-making global events, everything is an expression of human lives, which are constantly striving to become happier. How, then, can happiness be attained?
Every person feels happy when his desire is fulfilled. The word “desire” however, is apt to be misinterpreted. This is because everyone is now living in circumstances which can drive desire in the direction of evil rather than in the direction of goodness. The desire which results in unrighteousness does not come from the “original mind of man”; that is, one’s inmost self which delights in the law of God. The path to happiness is reached by overcoming the desire which leads to evil and by following the desire which pursues goodness. Man’s original mind knows that evil desire will lead only to unhappiness and misery. This is the reality of human life: man gropes in the shadow of death as he searches for the light of life.
Has any man, by pursuing evil desire, been able to find the happiness in which his original mind could take delight? The answer is no. Whenever man attains the object of evil desire, he feels conscience-stricken. Would parents teach their children to do evil, or a teacher instruct his students to pursue unrighteousness? Again the answer must be no. It is the nature of man’s original mind to hate evil and to exalt goodness.
In the lives of religious men we can see an intense and relentless struggle to attain goodness by following the desire of the original mind only. Yet, since the beginning of time, no man has completely followed his original mind. For this reason the Bible says, “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands, no one seeks for God.” (Rom. 3:10-11).
The apostle Paul, who was faced with such wretchedness of heart, said in lamentation, “For I delight in the law of God, in my inmost self, but I see in my members another law at war with the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin which dwells in my members. Wretched man that I am!” (Rom 7:22-24).
There is a great contradiction in man. Within the same individual, the power of the original mind, which desires goodness, is at violent war against the power of the wicked mind, which desires evil. All life, all matter is doomed to destruction as long as it contains such a contradiction. Every man who contains such a contradiction within himself lives on the brink of destruction.
Can it be that man was created with such a contradiction? The answer again is no. Nothing could ever have been created with such an inherent contradiction. The contradiction, therefore, must have developed in man after the creation. In Christianity, we call this development the “Fall of Man”.
Due to his fall, man is always near the point of destruction. For this reason, he makes a desperate effort to remove the contradiction by following the good desire of his original mind and repelling the evil desire of his wicked mind.
To the grief of mankind, the ultimate solution to the problem of good and evil has not yet been reached. Regarding the doctrines of theism and atheism, if one of the two should be judged good, the other must be evil. Yet we have not reached a theory of an absolute nature concerning the problem of good and evil. Moreover, men and women remain entirely ignorant of the answers to many fundamental questions, such as: What is the original mind, the source of good desire? What was the origin of the wicked mind, which caused evil desire? What was the fundamental cause of the fall which permitted man to embody such a contradiction? Before being able to lead a good life by following the good desire of the original mind and repelling evil desire, it is necessary to overcome ignorance and be able to distinguish between good and evil.
Seen from the viewpoint of knowledge, the human fall signifies man’s descent into the darkness of ignorance. Since man consists of two aspects, internal and external, or spiritual and physical, there are also two aspects of knowledge, internal and external, and two aspects of ignorance, internal and external.
Internal ignorance, in the religious sense, means spiritual ignorance; that is, ignorance of the answers to such questions as: What is man’s origin? What is the purpose of his life? Do God and the next world exist? What are good and evil?
External ignorance is ignorance of physical reality; that is, ignorance concerning the natural world, which includes the human body; also, ignorance of such questions as: What is the basis of the material world? According to which natural laws do all physical phenomena occur?
From the earliest dawn of history to the present, men have constantly and earnestly searched for the truth with which to overcome this ignorance and restore the light of knowledge. Man has struggled to discover internal truth through the way of religion. Science has been the path taken toward the discovery of external truth.
Religion and science have been the methods of searching for the two aspects of truth, in order to overcome the two aspects of ignorance and restore the two aspects of knowledge. The day must come when religion and science advance in one united way, so that man may enjoy eternal happiness, completely liberated from ignorance and directed toward goodness, which is what the original mind desires. Then, mutual understanding will occur between the two aspects of truth, the internal and the external.
Man has been approaching a solution to the fundamental questions of life by following two different courses. The first course is to search for the solution within the material world. Those who take this route think it to be the sublime path. They yield to science, taking pride in its omnipotence, and seek material happiness. However, can man enjoy full happiness when he limits his search to external material conditions centered upon the physical body? Science may create a pleasant social environment in which man can enjoy the utmost in wealth, but is such an environment able to satisfy the spiritual desire of the inner man?
The passing joys of the man who delights in the pleasures of the flesh are nothing when compared to the happiness experienced by a devout man of God. Gautama Buddha, who left the glory of the royal palace, was not the only one who has taken the long journey of life in pursuit of the Way. His goal was man’s lost home–his status before the fall, his permanent domicile–although he did not know where it was. Just as a man becomes whole and sane when his mind is in harmony with his body, so it is with joy. The joy of the body becomes whole and sane when it is in harmony with the joy of the mind.
What is the destiny of science? Until now, scientific research has not embraced the internal world of cause, but only the external world of result; not the world of essence, but only the world of phenomena. Today science is entering a higher dimension; it is no longer concerned exclusively with the external world of result and phenomena, but has begun to examine the internal world of cause and essence as well. Those who have taken the path of science are concluding that, without the truth that relates to the spiritual world of cause; that is, the internal truth, man cannot attain the ultimate purpose of science; that is, the discovery of the external truth, which pertains to the external world of result.
A sailor making a voyage on the sea of the material world under the sail of science in search of the pleasures of the flesh may reach the coast of his ideal, but he will soon find it to be nothing more than a graveyard to hold his flesh. But when the sailor who has completed his voyage in search of external truth under the sail of science comes into contact with the sea-route to internal truth, under the sail of religion, he will be able to end his voyage in the ideal world, which is the goal of the original mind’s desire.
The second course of human endeavor has been directed toward solving the fundamental questions of life in the essential world of “cause”. Philosophy and religion, which have gone this way, have made substantial contributions. On the other hand, both philosophy and religion have been saddled with many spiritual burdens. In their own times, philosophers and saints have pioneered the way of life, but their deeds have often resulted in placing added burdens on the people of the present era.
Consider the matter objectively. Has there ever been a philosopher who was able to end human misery? Has there ever been a saint who has clearly shown us the way of life? The principles and ideologies presented to mankind so far have given rise to skepticism; they have created many themes which need to be untangled, and numerous problems to be solved. The lights of revival with which the great religions illuminated their respective ages have faded out with the ebb of the age, leaving only dim, sputtering wicks glimmering in the falling darkness.
Let us study the history of Christianity. For nearly 2,000 years Christianity grew, professed the salvation of mankind, and established worldwide dominion. But what has become of the Christian spirit which cast forth such a brilliant light of life that, even in the days of persecution under the Roman Empire, Romans were brought to their knees before the crucified Jesus? Medieval feudal society buried this Christianity alive. Yet, even in its grave, the torch of Christian religious reformation still shone out against the engulfing darkness of that age. It could not, however, turn back the tide of those dark days.
When ecclesiastic love expired, when the surging desire for material wealth swept the society of Europe and countless millions of starving masses shouted bitterly in the industrial slums, the promise of salvation came not from heaven but from earth. Its name was communism. Christianity, though it professed God’s love, had turned out to be in reality a dead body of clergy trailing empty slogans. It was then only natural that a banner of revolt would be raised against a seemingly merciless God. Christian society became the hotbed of materialism. Absorbing fertilizer from this soil, communism, the foremost materialist ideology, has grown rapidly and unchecked.
Christianity lost its capacity to surpass the practice of communism and has not been able to present a truth which overcomes communist theory. Christians watch communism grow within their own midst, expanding its dominion over the world. Although they teach and believe that all men are descendants of the same parents, many Christians do not like to sit with brothers and sisters of different skin color. This is a representative example of today’s Christianity, which is deprived of the life force needed to practice the word of Christ.
There may come a day when such social tragedies will end, but there is one social vice which is beyond the control of many men and women today. That is adultery. Christian doctrine holds this sin to be the greatest of all sins. What a tragedy that today’s Christian society cannot halt this degradation, into which so many people today are rushing blindly.
What these realities mean to us is that Christianity today is in a state of confusion. Split by the chaotic tide of the present generation, it is unable to do anything for the lives of the people who have been drawn into today’s whirlpool of immorality. Is Christianity unable to achieve God’s promise of salvation for the present era of mankind? Why have men of religion thus far been unable to fulfill their missions even though they have struggled desperately and devotedly in pursuit of internal truth?
The relationship between the essential world and the phenomenal world is similar to that between mind and body. It is the relationship between cause and result, internal and external, subjective and objective. Since man can attain perfect personality only when his mind and body become harmonized in perfect oneness, the ideal world can be realized only when the two worlds–one of essence, the other of phenomena–have been joined in perfect unity.
As it is with the relationship between mind and body, so there can also be no phenomenal world apart from the essential world and no essential world apart from the phenomenal world. Neither can there be a spiritual world apart from a physical world, nor spiritual happiness apart from true physical happiness. Religion has until now de-emphasized the value of everyday reality; it has denied the value of physical happiness in order to stress the attainment of spiritual joy. However strenuously man may try, he cannot cut himself off from reality, nor can he annihilate the desire for physical happiness that follows him always like a shadow.
In reality, the desire for physical happiness persistently takes hold of men of religion, leading them into the depths of agony. Such a contradiction exists even in the lives of spiritual leaders. Many spiritual leaders, torn by such contradictions, have met a sad end. Herein is a principal cause for the weakness and inactivity of today’s religions; the weakness lies in the contradiction which has not yet been overcome.
Another factor has fated religion to decline. Modern men, whose intelligence has developed to the utmost degree, demand scientific proof for all things. However, religious doctrine, which remains unchanged, does not interpret things scientifically. That is to say, man’s interpretation of internal truth (religion) and his interpretation of external truth (science) do not agree.
The ultimate purpose of religion can be fulfilled only by first believing in and then by practicing the truth. But true belief cannot come about today without knowledge and understanding. We study the Bible to confirm our belief by knowing the truth. Jesus’ performance of miracles and his revelation of signs were to let the people know that he was the Messiah and enable them to believe in him. Knowledge comes from cognition, and man today cannot cognize anything which lacks logic and scientific proof. To understand something, there must first be cognition. Thus, internal truth also requires logical proof. Religion has been moving through the long course of history toward an age in which it must be explained scientifically.
Religion and science began with the missions of dispelling, respectively, the two aspects of human ignorance. In their courses, these two areas of thought and exploration came into apparently uncompromising conflict with each other. In order for man to attain the good purpose of the original mind’s desire, there must come a time when there is a new expression of truth, enabling mankind to bring these two matters together under one unified theme. These two matters are religion, which has been coming closer to science, and science, which has been approaching religion.
It may be displeasing to religious believers, especially to Christians, to learn that a new expression of truth must appear. They believe that the Bible, which they now have, is perfect and absolute in itself. Truth, of course, is unique, eternal, unchangeable, and absolute. The Bible, however, is not the truth itself, but a textbook teaching the truth. Naturally, the quality of teaching and the method and extent of giving the truth must vary according to each age, for the truth is given to people of different ages, who are at different spiritual and intellectual levels. Therefore, we must not regard the textbook as absolute in every detail (cf. Part I, Ch. 3, Sec. V–129).
Religion came into existence as the means to accomplish the purpose of goodness in following the way of God according to the intention of the original mind. The need for different kinds of understanding compelled the appearance of various religions. Scriptures of different religions varied according to the mission of the religion, the people who received it, and the age in which it came. Scripture can be likened to a lamp which illuminates the truth. Its mission is to shed the light of truth. When a brighter light appears, the mission of the old one fades. Today’s religions have failed to lead the present generation out of the dark valley of death into the radiance of life, so there must now come a new truth that can shed a new light.
Many passages in the Bible say that new words of truth will be given to mankind in the “Last Days”. What will be the mission of the new truth? Its mission will be to present the internal truth that religion has pursued and the external truth searched for by science under one unified theme. It should also seek to overcome both the internal and external ignorance of man and offer him internal and external knowledge. It must eliminate the contradiction within man, who is receptive to good and evil, by helping fallen man resist the way of evil and attain the purpose of goodness. For fallen man, knowledge is the light of life and holds the power of revival; ignorance is the shadow of death and the cause of ruin. No feeling or emotion can be derived from ignorance, no act of will can arise from ignorance. Thus, when knowledge, emotion and will do not function properly in man, life is no longer worth living.
If man is created to be unable to live apart from God, how miserable life must be when he is ignorant of God. Yet, can man know God clearly, even though he may diligently consult the Bible? Furthermore, how can man ever know God’s heart? The new truth should enable us to know God as a reality. It should also be able to reveal His heart and feeling of joy at the time of creation, and His broken heart and feeling of grief as He struggles to save fallen man who rebels against Him.
Human history, woven of the lives of men who are inclined toward both goodness and evil, is filled with the story of struggle. These struggles have been external battles over property, land, and men. But today the external fighting is diminishing. People of different nations live together without racism. They strive to realize a world government. War victors seek to liberate their colonies, giving them rights equal to the rights of the great powers. Once hostile and disharmonious international relations are harmonized around similar economic problems as nations move toward the formation of common market systems all over the world. Meanwhile, culture is freely circulating, the isolation of nations is being overcome, and the cultural distance between East and West is being bridged.
One final war is thus left before us; that is, the war between the ideologies of democracy and communism. These internally conflicting ideologies are now in preparation for another external war, and both sides are equipped with dreadful weapons. The external preparations are, in reality, geared toward waging a final, decisive internal (spiritual) war. Which will triumph? Anyone who believes in the reality of God will answer “democracy”. Yet democracy today is not equipped with a theory or practice powerful eno