Essentials Of Unification Thought
The Head-Wing Thought
II. Unification Epistemology (Part 1)
We have seen the outline of previous epistemologies; now I will explain the epistemology of Unification Thought, namely, Unification Epistemology. Unification Epistemology is established on the basis of concepts about cognition within Divine Principle, Reverend Sun Myung Moon's speeches and sermons, Reverend Moon's answers to direct questions by the author, and so on. 27
A. Outline of Unification Epistemology
Unification Epistemology has, among others, the characteristic of an alternative to traditional epistemologies. Thus, I will introduce Unification Epistemology in terms of the subjects dealt with by traditional epistemologies, such as the origin of cognition, the object of cognition, and the method of cognition.
1. The Origin of Cognition
As I have explained, in the 17th and 18th centuries, there occurred empiricism, which held that the origin of cognition lies in experience, and rationalism, which held that the origin of cognition lies in reason. But empiricism fell into skepticism when it came to Hume, and rationalism fell into dogmatism when it came to Wolff. Kant tried to unify empiricism and rationalism through the transcendental method, but he left the things-in-themselves behind in an agnostic world. Against such a background, I will introduce the position of Unification Epistemology.
In the former epistemologies, the relationship between the subject of cognition (the human beings) and the object of cognition (all things) was not clarified. Since they did not know the relationship between the human being and all things, either emphasis was placed on the subject of cognition, as in rationalism, asserting that cognition is made exactly as reason (or understanding) infers, or emphasis was placed in the object of cognition, as in empiricism, asserting that cognition is made by grasping the object as it is, through sensation.
Kant said that cognition takes place as the sensory elements coming from the object are synthesized through the forms of the subject, and that cognition is made by the synthesis of subject (human being) and object. He was not aware, however, of relationship between the subject and the object. So for Kant, cognition can be made only within the framework of the categories of the subject, and in the end, he held that the things-in-themselves are unknowable.
Hegel said that in the self-development of the absolute spirit, the Idea becomes nature by alienating itself, but eventually restores itself by becoming spirit through the human being. In this system, nature was merely a process leading up to the rise of the human spirit, and had no positive meaning of its existence. Finally, in Marxism, the human being and nature are in an accidental relationship of opposition.
When we look at the problem in this way, how to correctly understand the relationship between the subject of cognition (human beings) and the object of cognition (all things) becomes an important issue. From an atheistic position, the necessary relationship between human beings and nature cannot be established. Even in the theory of the natural generation of the universe, human beings and nature are accidental beings to each other. Only when the significance of God's creation of human beings and all things has been clarified, can the necessary relationship between human beings and all things become clear.
From the perspective of Unification Thought, human beings and all things are in the relationship of subject and object. That is to say, human being is the lord of dominion over all things, and all things are the objects of joy, objects of beauty, and objects of dominion. Subject and object are in an inseparable relationship.
This can be compared to the relationship between the motor arid the working parts in a machine. The working parts without a motor are meaningless, and so is the motor without the working parts. The two sides are designed to form a necessary relationship of subject and object. By the same token, human beings and all things have been created in such a way that both have a necessary relationship.
Cognition is the judgment of human subject on all things, which are the objects of joy, beauty, and dominion. In this connection, cognition (i.e., judgment) involves "experience," and judgment is carried out through the function of "reason." Therefore, experience and reason are both necessary. Thus, in Unification Epistemology, experience and reason are both indispensable, and cognition takes place through the unified operation of the two. Also, since the human being and all things are in the relationship of subject and object, we can know all things perfectly.
2. The Object of Cognition
Unification Thought, first of all, acknowledges that all things exist outside the human being; that is, it accepts realism. As the subject of all things, the human being exercises dominion over all things-such as developing, processing, and making use of all things-and cognizes all things. For that reason, all things must exist outside and independently of the human being, as objects of cognition and objects of dominion.
Also, Unification Thought holds that the human being is the integration of all things, or the microcosm-and therefore, the human being is equipped with all the structures, elements, and qualities of all things. This is so because all things of the natural world have been created in a symbolical resemblance to the human being, with the human body as their model. Therefore, the human being and all things have a mutual resemblance. Furthermore, in the human being, the body is created in resemblance to die mind.
Cognition is always accompanied by judgment, and judgment can be regarded as a kind of a measuring act. For measurement, standards (criteria) are necessary, and it is the ideas within the human mind that serve as the standards of cognition. These ideas are called "pro to types." Each prototype is an image within the mind, and it is an internal object. Cognition takes place as an image Within the mind (internal image) and an image coming from the external object (external image) are collated.
Until today, realism has insisted on the existence of only the external world, disregarding innate ideas within the human being. Marxism, which advocates copy theory, is its representative exponent. Subjective idealism, as represented by Berkeley, asserted, oil the contrary, that the object of cognition can be recognized as existing only insofar as it appears in human consciousness. In Unification Epistemology, realism and idealism (subjective idealism) are unified.
3. The Method of Cognition
The method of Unification Epistemology is different from Kant's transcendental method and also from Marx's dialectical method. The give-and-receive method, that is, the principle of give-and-receive action between subject and object, is the method of Unification Epistemology. Accordingly, in terms of method, Unification Epistemology is called give-and-receive epistemology.
In the give-and-receive action between subject (human being) and object (all things) in cognition, both subject and object must have certain requisites: the subject must have prototypes and concern for the object, and the object must have content (i.e., attributes) and form.
In addition, the give-and-receive action in cognition consists of inner and outer give-and-receive actions. Cognition takes place first as outer give-and-receive action, and then as inner give-and-receive action. That is, first the content and form of the object are reflected on the mind of the subject (which is the external give-and-receive action), forming the sensory content and sensory form. Subsequently, this sensory content and form are collated with the prototypes possessed by the subject (which also possesses content and form), whereby internal give-and-receive action takes place. Only at this point is cognition complete.
In Kant, the content is all element coming from the external world, whereby the form is possessed inherently by the subject. That is, the content belongs to the object, and the form belongs to the subject. In contrast, in Marxism content and form both belong to the object in the external world, and the consciousness of the subject merely reflects them. In Unification Epistemology, however, there is an element of copy theory in the outer give-and-receive action, and there is an element of the transcendental method in the inner give-and-receive action. Thus, in Unification Epistemology the dialectical method (copy theory) and transcendental method (Kantian method) are unified.
B. Content and Form in Cognition
Usually, when we say content and form, we call what is contained inside a thing the content, and the external appearance, the form. The content dealt with in epistemology, however, refers to the attributes of a thing, and the form refers to a certain framework through which those attributes are manifested.
1. The Content of the Object and the Content of the Subject
Since the object of cognition is all things, the content of the object refers to the various attributes that it possesses, namely, shape, weight, length, motion, color, sound, smell, taste, etc. On the other hand, the subject of cognition is the human being; therefore, the content of the subject refers to the various attributes that human being possesses, which are the same as the attributes of all things, that is, shape, weight, length, motion, color, sound, smell, taste, etc.
Usually when we talk about human attributes, in many cases we are referring to reason, freedom, spirituality, etc., but in epistemology, since we are dealing with the resemblance in content, we focus on the same attributes as those of the object (all things). As the integration of die universe (microcosm), the human being possesses, in miniature, all the structures, elements, qualities, and so on, that all things possess. Therefore, the human being is equipped with the same attributes as all things have.
Give-and-receive action in cognition, however, does not take place merely because the subject (human being) and the object (all things) possess the same attributes. Since cognition is a phenomenon of thinking, the mind of the subject, also must be equipped with content. The content in the mind of the subject is the prototype, or more accurately, that part of prototype that corresponds to content. This refers to the "protoimage," which appears in protoconsciousness (subconsciousness in "life-body," which will be further explained below). The protoimage is a mental image that is in correspondence with the attributes of the human body, and it is also in correspondence with the attributes of all things in the external world. This enables give-and-receive action to occur between the content of the subject (protoimage) and the content of the object (sensory contemn).
2. The Form of the Object and the Form of the Subject
The attributes of all things, which are the object of cognition, always appear in a certain framework. This framework is the form of existence. The form of existence is the form of relation among the attributes of those things. This form of existence, or form of relation, becomes the form of the object in cognition.
The human body is a miniature of the universe (microcosm), and the integration of all things; therefore, the human body has the same form of existence as that of all things. The form in cognition is the form within the mind, that is, the form of thought. This is a reflection of the form of existence of the human body in the protoconsciousness, in other words, the image of form (or the image of relation), forming a part of the prototype.
3. Elements Making up a Prototype
The mental image within the subject, which becomes the standard of judgment in cognition, is called the prototype. The prototype is made up of the following elements.
First, there is the protoimage. This is the image of the attributes of the cells and tissues (elements making up the human body) reflected in the protoconsciousness. In other words, the protoimage is the image of the attributes of the cells and tissues reflected in the "mirror" of the protoconsciousness.
The second element is the image of relation, that is, the form of thought. Not only the attributes of the cells and tissues of the human body, but also the form of existence (form of relation) of those attributes are reflected in the protoconsciousness, forming the image of relation. This image of relation gives certain restrictions to the action of thinking, forming the form of thought.
The above-mentioned protoimage and image of relation (form of thought) are ideas that have nothing to do with experience, that is, they are a priori ideas; but in prototypes, there are also acquired ideas that are added through past and present experiences. The ideas obtained through the experiences (i.e., before the current cognition) are empirical ideas and form part of prototypes in subsequent cognition. Therefore, when we encounter things that are similar to what we learned before, we can easily judge them.
The prototypes that are made of a priori ideas are called "original prototypes," and the prototypes that are made of acquired ideas through experiences are called "empirical prototypes." The united prototypes of both are called "complex prototypes," which are actually engaged in our cognition.
4. The Preexistence of Prototypes and Their Development
As already explained, prototypes have both an a priori element and an empirical element. In any kind of cognition, a prototype that has been formed prior to it, namely, a complex prototype, works as a standard of judgment. This means that, in any cognition, a standard of judgment (a prototype) already exists. This is called the "preexistence of prototype." Kant maintained that the forms possessed by the subject of cognition are a priori, but Unification Epistemology asserts the preexistence of the prototypes possessed by the subject.
The prototypes (protoimages and images of relation) with which people are born are imperfect in the case of a newborn because the cells, tissues, organs, nerves, sense organs, brain and so on, of the infant, are not well developed yet; therefore, the infant's cognition cannot but be vague. However, as the infant's body develops and grows, the protoimages and images of relation gradually become clearer and clearer. Furthermore, new ideas acquired through experience are also added one by one. In this way, the prototypes grow in quality as well as in quantity, which means that there is an increase in the amount of memory and an increase in new knowledge.
C. Protoconsciousness, Image of Protoconsciousness, and Category
Divine Principle states that "each being in creation grows autonomously by the power of the Principle." 28 This refers to dominion and autonomy, which are characteristics of the life force. Life is subconsciousness existing within the cells and tissues of living beings. Life has the capacity of sensitivity, perceptiveness, and purposiveness. In other words, life refers to subconsciousness with the capacity of sensitivity, perceptiveness, and purposiveness. Sensitivity refers to the ability to perceive something intuitively; perceptiveness refers to the ability to maintain the state of perception; and purposiveness refers to the will-power to actualize a certain purpose while maintaining the purpose.
"Protoconsciousness" means fundamental consciousness, and it refers to the cosmic consciousness that has entered into a cell or a tissue. From the perspective of the function of the mind, protoconsciousness is a mind of a lower level. 29 Therefore, it may be said to be cosmic mind of a lower level or God's mind of a lower level.
Protoconsciousness is life as well. When the cosmic consciousness enters cells and tissues, it becomes individualized and is called protoconsciousness or life. In other words, life is the cosmic consciousness that has entered cells or tissues. just as an electric wave enters a radio and makes sound, cosmic consciousness enters cells and tissues and gives them life. 30 In a nutshell, then, protoconsciousness is life, and it is subconsciousness with sensitivity, perceptiveness, and purposiveness.
In Unification Thought we interpret that when God created the universe through Logos, He inscribed all the information peculiar to each living being (i.e., Logos) in the cells of that being as the material form of a code. The reason was God wanted each living being to be able to multiply and maintain its species from generation to generation. That code is the genetic code of DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid), which is a specific arrangement of the four kinds of bases of adenine, guanine, thymine, and cytosine.
It is written in Genesis 2:7 that "the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life." With regard to things in the natural world, it can also be said that "God formed cells out of dust and poured life into them. So the cells became living cells." The cosmic consciousness which was poured into the cells is protoconsciousness, or life. Living beings become alive when cosmic consciousness is poured into their cells, tissues, and organs.
2. The Function of Protoconsciousness
Next, I will explain the function of protoconsciousness. First, when cosmic consciousness enters into a cell, it reads the genetic code of the DNA of the cell. After reading the genetic code, protoconsciousness causes the cells and tissues to act according to the instructions of that code. Moreover, in the human body, information from each of the cells and tissues is transmitted to the center through the peripheral nerves, and orders (information) are transmitted from the center through the peripheral nerves to the cells and tissues. On these occasions, it is protoconsciousness that gives and receives the information between the cells or tissues and the center.
3. Formation of the Image of Protoconsciousness
The subconsciousness within living beings, namely, protoconsciousness, has sensitivity. Therefore, die protoconsciousness senses the structure, constituents, qualities, and so on, of the cells and tissues intuitively. Furthermore, protoconsciousness senses even changes in the situation inside the cells arid tissues. Here, the content sensed by protoconsciousness, that is, the image reflected onto protoconsciousness, is the "protoimage."
The fact that a protoimage is produced in the protoconsciousness can be compared to the fact that a material object is reflected in a mirror, or that a material object is caught on film through exposure.
Protoconsciousness has perceptiveness, which refers to maintaining the state of perception, in other words, keeping the protoimage. Thus, perceptiveness can also be regarded as memory.
The various elements within a human body, such as cells, tissues, and organs, exist, function, and grow through performing inner and outer give-and-receive actions as individual truth bodies and as connected bodies. In the case of a cell, for example, the give-and-receive action between the various elements (nucleus and cytoplasm) within the cell is inner give-and-receive action, and the give-and-receive action between the cell and other cells is outer give-and-receive action. The form of give-and-receive actions at this time is the form of relation and form of existence.
This form of existence is reflected on protoconsciousness, forming an image there; we call this image "image of relation" or "image of form." Protoconsciousness has protoimage and image of relation (image of form), which together we call the "image of protoconsciousness."
4. Formation of the Form of Thought
As already explained, the content possessed by the subject of cognition (human being) includes material content (Hyungsang content) and mental content (Sungsang content). The material content is the same as the attributes of the object (things), and the mental content is the protoimages. In this relationship the material content is related to the mental content.
Likewise, the form that the subject has includes material form (Hyungsang form) and mental form (Sungsang form). The material form is the same as the form of existence of the object (things), and the mental form refers to the image of relation (or image of form). The latter serves as the form of thought which give a certain framework to thinking at the time of cognition. Here the form of existence is related to the form of thought.
As explained above, the form of relation (form of existence) in cells and tissues is reflected on protoconsciousness and form the image of relation. The images of relation in protoconsciousness are passed from the peripheral nerves to the lower centers as bits of information and gather together at the upper center (cortex center). In this process, the images of relation are synthesized and arranged to shape the form of thought. That is, the form of thought is created as a mental form corresponding to the form of existence in the external world, and determines our thinking. The forms of thought are the same as categories, which refer to the most fundamental, general, basic concepts.
5. Form of Existence and Form of Thought
Since the corresponding source of the form of thought is the form of existence, then in order for us to understand the form of thought, we must first understand the form of existence. In order for things to exist, individual entities (or elements) should be related with each other, whereby form of relation is the form of existence. From the Unification thought perspective, there are ten basic forms of existence, as follows:
(i) Existence and Force:
The existence of every being is always accompanied by the operation of force. There is no force apart from existence, and no existence apart from force. This is because the Prime Force from God makes all things exist by exerting power on them.
(ii) Sungsang and Hyungsang.
Every being consists of an inner, invisible, functional elements and an outer, visible mass, structure, and shape.
(iii) Yang and Yin:
Every being has the characteristics of yang and yin as attributes of Sungsang and Hyungsang, Yang and yin are at work both in space and in time. Beauty is manifested through the harmony of yang and yin.
(iv) Subject and Object:
Every being exists through performing give-and-receive action between correlative elements within itself and between itself and another being in the relationship of subject and object.
(v) Position and Settlement:
Every being exists in a certain position. That is, an appropriate being is settled in each position.
(vi) Unchangeability and Changeability:
Every being has both unchanging and changing aspects. This is because every created being is in a unity between the identity-maintaining four position base (static four position base) and the developmental four position base (dynamic four position base).
(vii) Action and Effect:
Whenever the correlative elements of subject and object in a being enter into give-and-receive action, an effect always appears. That is, through give-and-receive action those elements form a unified being, or give rise to a new being (multiplied body).
(viii) Time and Space.
Every being is a temporal and spatial being, existing in time and space. This is because to exist is to form a four-position base (base in space) and to engage in the Origin-Division-Union Action (action in time).
(ix) Number and Principle:
Every being is a mathematical being, and at the same time a law-governed being. In other words, in every being, numbers are always united with laws, or principles. 31
(x) Finite and Infinite:
Every individual being has the aspect of being finite (momentary) while at same time the aspect of being infinite (lasting).
These points are the most basic forms of existence that are established on the basis of four-position base, give-and-receive action, and Chung-Boon-Hap Action (0-D-U Action) in Divine Principle. These are the forms of existence of all things, which are the objects of cognition, and at the same time the forms of existence of the components of the physical body of the human being, who is the subject of cognition.
The mental forms corresponding to these forms of existence are the forms of thought. That is, (i) existence and force, (ii) Sungsang and Hyungsang, (iii) Yang and Yin, (iv) subject and object, (v) location and settlement, (vi) unchangeability and change, (vii) action and effect, (viii) time and space, (ix) number and principle, and (x) finite and infinite are, just as they are, the forms of thought. The forms of existence are material forms of relation, while the forms of thought are the basic concepts, which are the forms of relationships among ideas.
Of course, there can be other forms of existence and forms of thought in addition to those mentioned above, which are the most basic ones from the Unification Thought perspective. It is not the case that the forms of thought are as Kant maintained, unrelated to existence; also, it is not the case that the forms of existence of the external world reflect, or give rise to, the forms of thought, as is stated in Marxism. The human being himself, from the very beginning, is equipped with the forms of thought, which correspond to the forms of existence of the external world. For example, because the human being himself is a being with temporal and spatial nature from the beginning, he has the form of thought of time and space, and because he is a being with subjectivity and objectivity, he has the form of thought of subject and object.
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