The Family Is the Basic Form of Life

Listen to Dr. Kelly Kohls, founder of the National School Boards Leadership Council, speaking at the Strengthening Families and Communities Forum:
#109-Dr. Kelly Kohls: How to Fix Boards of Education

Cheon Seong Gyeong 2201

    A father who is filial to his own father will want his own son to be even more filial than he is. Only then, can the grandfather and father be able to close their eyes peacefully when they die. The heart that is able to make the son suffer even more than I have is the heart of love for the son.
    This goes without saying. By doing this, then together we have to comfort God, who has been suffering for us. Because a father needs such children as his successors, he lets them carry out their filial duty to such a degree that he could not forget it even after his death. That is why I impose great hardship on you.
    I am a stingy person when it comes to my personal life. I do not know how to spend money on myself. I am not a person who will go to a restaurant to eat alone when I am hungry and I also advise Mother about what to eat and wear. (43-60, 1971.4.18)

Cheon Seong Gyeong 1100

No one living on earth until this time has ever seen God’s Day, True Parents’ Day, True Children’s Day, and Day of All True Things. There are 365 days in a year. You should clearly understand that the most important days among all 365 days are those days that I have just mentioned, which have now appeared in providential history. You should know that these days are the king of all days, and if a year like that existed it would be the king of all years. (92-252, 1977.4.18)

Part Four

Family and Society

Chapter 19


The Basic Form of Life

THE FAMILY IS THE BASIC FORM OF LIFE. Its relations constitute the environment where people are reared, molding their character, values and identities. People sometimes try to set up alternatives to the traditional family, but these fail to persist beyond one or two generations. There is a “form” to the family; not in the sense of a precise set of roles, but rather a general principle that even single-parent families, childless families and families blended with stepparents and other relations take after as best they can. What is the “form” of the family? Outwardly, it consists of the pattern of relationships linking parents and children, husband and wife, and siblings; inwardly, it is the true, godly love that governs these relationships.
There is another sense in which the family is the basic form of life: it is the “textbook” for relationships in the larger society. Good family relations are productive of good citizens, who apply the lessons of relating with elder, same-age and younger family members to their relations with superiors, peers and subordinates.
Father Moon teaches extensively about both aspects of the family’s form. He characterizes its structural pattern as the “four-position foundation,” a notable teaching because it brings God into the family as a veritable member. He also describes the family spatially as extending in six directions. In either case, the form is spherical and characterized by equality of all positions. This is possible when the dynamic in all the family relations is true love. Each family member lives for the sake of the others, creating a virtuous circle of giving that generates energy and equalizes all. Such families are the building-blocks of virtuous societies.

  1. The Family Ideal

He who loves his wife as himself; who honors her more than himself; who rears his children in the right path, and who marries them off at the proper time of their life, concerning him it is written: “And you will know that your home is at peace.”
    Talmud, Yebamot 62 (Judaism)

Supporting one’s father and mother, cherishing wife and children and a peaceful occupation; this is the greatest blessing.
    Sutta Nipata 262 (Buddhism)

There are five relations of utmost importance under Heaven… between prince and minister; between father and son; between husband and wife; between elder and younger brothers; and between friends.
    Doctrine of the Mean 20.8 (Confucianism)

What are “the things which men consider right”? Kindness on the part of the father, and filial duty on that of the son; gentleness on the part of the elder brother, and obedience on that of the younger; righteousness on the part of the husband, and submission on that of the wife; kindness on the part of elders, and deference on that of juniors; with benevolence on the part of the ruler, and loyalty on that of the minister; —these ten are the things which men consider to be right.
    Book of Ritual 7.2.19 (Confucianism)

May in this family discipline overcome indiscipline, peace discord, charity miserliness, devotion arrogance, the truth-spoken word the false spoken word which destroys the holy order.
    Avesta, Yasna 60.5 (Zoroastrianism)

Natural mildness should be there in the family. Observance of the vows leads to mildness… Right belief should there be amongst family members. Crookedness and deception cause unhappiness in the family. Straightforward­ness and honesty in one’s body, speech, and mental activities lead the family to an auspicious path. Purity, reverence, ceaseless pursuit of knowledge, charity, removal of obstacles that threaten equanimity, service to others—these make the family happy.
    Tattvarthasutra 6.18-24 (Jainism)

When father, mother, sons, elder and younger brothers all act in a manner suited to their various positions within the family, when husbands play their proper role and wives are truly wifely, the way of that family runs straight. It is by the proper regulation of each family that the whole world is stabilized.
    I Ching 37 (Confucianism)

The union of hearts and minds and freedom from hate I’ll bring you.
Love one another as the cow loves the calf that she has borne.
Let son be loyal to father, and of one mind with his mother;
let wife speak to husband words that are honey-sweet and gentle.
Let not a brother hate a brother, nor a sister hate a sister;
unanimous, united in aims, speak you words with friendliness.
I will make the prayer for that concord among men at home
by which the gods do not separate, nor ever hate one another.
Be not parted—growing old, taking thought, thriving together, moving under a common yoke,
come speaking sweetly to one another;
I’ll make you have one aim and be of one mind.
Common be your water-store, common your share of food;
I bind you together to a common yoke.
United, gather round the sacrificial fire
like spokes around the nave of a wheel.
With your common desire I’ll make you all have one aim,
be of one mind, following one leader,
like the gods who preserve their immortality.
Morn and eve may there be the loving heart in you.
    Atharva Veda 3.30 (Hinduism)

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