Can We Exist Without Division?
What if we were all thrown into one box, with no possibility of categorizing ourselves or each other, and with the only common label being ‘human being’? Would we think about each other differently? In our present-day world, dissent between people, groups or nations has become so commonplace that, as one character explains in the film “Hotel Rwanda,” “[When people watch the news,] they’ll say, ‘Oh, my God, that’s horrible,’ and then go on eating their dinners.” It no longer shocks us to see our society create enemies of each other, but how often do we question why this is so—and what we can do to change it?
I believe that part of the problem stems from choosing to focus on what makes us different, just as the moderator had done with me. Harmless as it may seem, our society has a deep-seated habit of compartmentalizing ourselves. Everything must be placed in its own box, and any person who doesn’t fit our own box’s criteria therefore cannot be “one of us” and becomes “one of them.” Over time, we begin to believe that those in the “them” boxes are too different from “us” to be worthy of our respect or love. Eventually, those we see as belonging not to “us” but to “them” become our enemies.
This process of reducing our moral standards when we relate to someone different is known in the field of psychology as moral exclusion, and it’s a phenomenon we can see at work every day. For example, how many innocent Muslims in the United States have been treated with malice and disrespect since the events of September 11, 2001? How many nations have pushed aggressively tolimit immigration, with little regard for the horrid conditions those immigrants—many of whom are refugees—might be fleeing from? Or, perhaps more intimately, how many times have we chosen to avoid or reject someone simply because we disagree about something? Clash between people is inevitable, but what if we saw ourselves as all part of that one box, fighting one common enemy together?
Our Only Enemy Is a Mind Disconnected from God
Father Moon once asked, “In the eyes of God, do you think there are any enemies? By having feelings of resentment, anger and hatred, we cannot go to God. We do not want to create enemies. There has been a lot of conflict, religious wars and racial wars. Everyone loses as long as we have the concept of enemy.”
In a similar vein, Mother Moon explained, “If you truly come to feel God’s heart, how can you take revenge on your enemy? When we desire to embrace our enemy and become one centered on love, God will start to cry. God will say: ‘You resemble me!’ and He will be so joyful. Because God is like this, we can come to understand the words ‘Love your enemy.’ That kind of power is not caused by knowledge, money or authority. It is caused only by true love.”
We’ve all heard how Jesus taught us to love our enemy… but what if we’re meant to take that idea one step further, and rid ourselves of the concept of enemies altogether?It’s not to say that we’d never find something we disagree on with others, or that we’d meekly accept injustice or wrongdoing. What would change is where we place our emphasis. Rather than jumping at the chance to promote division by disassociating from that which upsets us, we would focus instead on what remains in union and our common bases—and use that to expand the harmony into the discord.
Choosing to Be One
After taking a quick moment to breathe and calm my reeling mind, I let my heart respond to the moderator’s question.
“Actually, Sir, with all due respect, I would like to do the opposite, and focus on what you already know about me. Everyone here already knows some things about me, because those things are true of all of us.
“We are people who believe ourselves to be good. We believe the world to be good, but we also believe the world can be better, and we wish earnestly to do something about it. The details, backstories and means of responding to the world’s struggles will surely differ between us, but those core points are true of me, and of you, and I believe that this is where our solution begins.”