Research into the Ontology of Spirit World and Spirit Persons in Unification Thought

Journal of Unification Studies Vol. 5, 2003 - Pages 145-174

This paper is written in response to Reverend Moon’s call for a chapter on the spirit world in future texts of Unification Thought.[1] The spirit world is not simply a copy of the earthly world. Data gleaned from spiritual testimonies describes it as a world where spirit people can move and create by the power of thought, where energy flowing through all living things descends from the Sun of God’s love, and where spirit persons and angels can change their external form while retaining their unchanging core essence. No multiplication takes place, but spirit persons create their environment in accordance with their thoughts and character. How can such a strange and magical world be described by the traditional theories of philosophy?

It is the author’s conviction that the major characteristics of the spirit world can be clearly elucidated based upon Unification Thought’s Theory of the Original Image and Ontology. Why? Unification Thought is the theory of God, who is the Creator of Heaven as well as the Earth. It was revealed by the one Man who has thoroughly plumbed the secrets of both worlds.

Dr. Sang Hun Lee, philosopher and foremost interpreter of Rev. Moon’s thought, aimed his theoretical focus squarely on earthly matters.[2] But after he passed on in March 1997, he began investigating the reality of the world after death with the same curiosity and intensity that he had demonstrated during his life on earth. His recent channeled materials are remarkable in the annals of spiritual literature.[3] In his channelings, Dr. Lee clearly affirms that the Divine Principle revealed by Rev. Moon is the basic principle governing the spirit world. Therefore, even though on earth Dr. Lee did not focus on the topic, his writings, based as they are on the Divine Principle, are fundamentally sound as a basis for the ontology of the spirit world.

The basic approach of this paper is constructive. Its basic postulate is to presume the correctness of the fundamental ontology of Unification Thought for describing the whole of reality. On that basis it seeks to construct a philosophical description of the spirit world, relying on the revelations and observations of the spirit world by Unificationists and other spiritually gifted people. This data is sufficiently abundant and consistent[4] that this writer is not deterred by lack of first-hand experience.


Data about Existence in the Spirit World

Contemporary evidence that can be brought forward in support of survival of the soul after death includes near death experiences, spiritualists’ testimonies and channelings, and attempts to register spiritual phenomena through electro-mechanical devices.[5] Becker has provided a rigorous defense of survival of personhood after death based on the evidence from apparitions, out of body experien­ces and near-death experiences.[6]

Mystics have given lively accounts of the spiritual realm that is populated by spirits and angels amid a backdrop of diverse scenery. Reports of deceased ancestors, gods and demons, trolls and fairies, and other apparitions are legion among all populations of humans in every age. The reported phenomena agree in their externals, even though the reporters may interpret the data from different philosophical perspectives: neo-Platonic, Theosophist, Christian Spiritualist or Kabbalist. Dr. Lee’s own explorations of the spirit world bears remarkable similarities with other clairvoyant accounts. It is now possible to arrive at a reasonably coherent description of life in the lands of the spirit world based upon sources from diverse traditions.

We begin by setting forth some characteristics of existence in the spirit world, according to the testimony of a wide spectrum of sources.

1. There is continuity between the physical world and the spirit world. People in the spirit world live as embodied forms and carry on all major life activities. Thus Swedenborg wrote,

Man after death is as much a man as he was before, so much so as to be unaware that he is not still in the former world. He has sight, hearing and speech as in the former world. He lies down, sleeps and awakes, as in the former world. He eats and drinks as in the former world. He enjoys marriage delight as in the former world. In a word, he is a man in each and every respect.[7]

2. Energy in the spirit world flows directly from God, shining as the sun of love to illuminate and govern. This is quite different from the physical world, where the energy to sustain life comes from physical substances—sunlight, air, water and soil. Rev. Moon teaches that while physical life is nourished by the earth, air and water of the physical world, “in the spirit world, people live and breathe centered on love.”[8] He also said, “the air in the spirit world is not the air we have on earth; instead it is love.”[9] Thus Dr. Lee found that God’s power directly controls the angels, whose “organizations, systems and activities connect directly to the power switch of God’s heart.”[10] It follows that a spirit’s position is crucially dependent on how closely he or she resonates with God’s love.

3. Spiritualist testimonies frequently describe the spirit world to be a world of thought, where things happen as fast as thought, where communication occurs through thought, and where directing one’s thoughts can immediately induce movement or the materialization of things.[11]

4. Unlike the physical world, where a being’s outward form is largely fixed by its material structure, regardless of its mental disposition, in the spirit world form is far more plastic, reflecting of the spirit’s inward character. Angels can change their appearance and size at will, according to Dr. Lee.[12] When aged people arrive in a middle realm in the spirit world, they take on the form they had in the prime of life.[13] As evil spirits resurrect, their appearance becomes more recognizably human.

5. Despite this variability in form, human beings and angels exist for eternity, rooted in their unchanging essence. A spirit in hell can be killed over and over again, but it never dies.

6. The spirit body that forms an envelope around the spirit may be of various levels of denseness, according to the realm in which the spirit exists. Earth-bound spirits are clothed in an astral body, which is quite dense compared to the rarefied bodies of spirits in the higher planes of the spirit world.

Astrals… are the intermediate degree of materiality between the gross matter of earth and the more etherealized matter of the spirit world, and we talk of a soul clothed in its astral envelope to express that earth-bound condition in which it is to refined or immaterial for earth existence, and too grossly clad to ascend into the spirit world of the higher spheres.[14]

In general, the spirit body is composed of elements fitting for the realm in which it dwells. There seems to be a correlation between the spirit body and the surrounding environment, to the point that one can say that a spirit’s form extends into its environment: its clothes, its house, its surrounding land. In the lower realms, the spirit’s body and surroundings together act as a prison, trapping the person. When a spirit resurrects to a higher realm, it leaves behind its old body, which, lacking an animating soul, decays into the atoms of that realm. Then it takes on a new body.[15]

7. Unlike the physical world, there is no multiplication in the spirit world. But such is also true of thought, which while it can create multitudes of images and communicate with other minds, cannot thereby multiply itself. Multiplication requires the interaction of yang and yin energies in physical form; yet yang and yin do not seem to operate among the angels (the spirit world prior to the perfections of humans who fulfill the four-position foundation.) Flowers and trees do not grow from seeds, but are made by spirits who are trained in the art of their production.[16]

8. Human beings are co-creators of the environment in the spirit world. It is governed by the quality of and conditions made during earthly life. Thus, Divine Principle speaks of vitality elements, generated by one’s deeds, as food for the growth of the spirit. Rev. Moon teaches that our life on earth determines the “house” in which we live in the spirit world, and likewise numerous spiritual testimonies describe the realms of heaven and hell as projections of the essences of the human spirits who dwell there.

9. Animals, plants and inanimate objects exist, not eternally, but only insofar as there are humans who treasure them. When in the spirit world one eats a ripe plum, the juice that runs down just disappears.[17] According to Borgia,

If you find you no longer need or desire a thing it will simply fade away to all appearances, just evaporate before your eyes. But it is not lost; it will return to the source from which it came. If we didn’t want this house and all its contents, it would vanish, and there would be nothing to see but the ground it stood on.[18]

The trees, flowers and other objects that beautify the environment of the spirit world are created for the people who live there. The animals and birds that roam about the land are likewise connected to its human inhabitants, who are their lords.

10. Spiritualists testify that spirit world is divided into various realms, arranged in concentric circles “above” and “below” the earth—an analogy, since the actual disposition of space is beyond the customary three dimensions. However, this is only a consequence of the Fall. In the course of time, when restoration is complete and all people are restored to perfection, all the lower spheres will have dissolved and the spirit world will be united as one great circle of heaven.[19]


Ontological Principles of the Spirit World

With this data as a starting-point, we can move on to identify some of the foundational principles of the ontology of the Spirit World, based upon Unification Thought.

1. Spirit World manifests the structure of the Divine Image.

The Spirit World manifests, more clearly and immediately than the physical world, the structure of the Divine Image in all things, where the characteristics of sungsang as developed in the logos underlying each being are reflected directly in its hyungsang.

The Theory of the Original Image in Unification Thought posits that all reality is constituted by the duality of sungsang and hyungsang. From the causal Being to resultant beings, all existences consist of an internal, invisible aspect (sungsang) and an external, visible aspect (hyungsang). The sungsang encompasses a being’s mental and functional aspects, while the hyungsang constitutes its body, composed of matter/energy.

This dual structure arises first in God, the causal being, and thence in all created beings. It follows therefore that the spirit world, as a created realm, is also a world of duality. Unification Thought thus provides a theoretical foundation for the data of clairvoyants that the spirit world is replete with embodied beings. This is in contrast to the Thomistic notion, taken from Aristotle, that God is pure eidos (essence) without parts or extension. Since at death “the spirit returns to God who gave it” (Eccl. 12:7), Thomistic-Aristotelian ontology has invested Christian theology with the notion that the human soul is likewise purely a mental essence, without exten­sion. Not so Unification Thought; by recognizing that God is com­posed of the dual aspects of sungsang and hyungsang, it gives logical ground for regarding the human spirit as likewise composed of dual aspects: “spirit mind” and “spirit body.”

Many testimonies depict the spirit world as a world of mind, where laws akin to the laws of thought govern communication, travel and even a spirit’s outward appearance.[20] Indeed, the subjective power of sungsang elements in the spirit world is remarkable. It is so strong that spirits can travel from one place to another by thought alone, disregarding the limits of time and space. By the power of thought alone, a spirit can create a flower or build a house. Conversely, a fallen spirit has no refuge from the judgment of his thoughts that assail him night and day, and that are displayed for all to see mirrored in his environment. Nevertheless, spirit persons have definite bodies, and moreover their powers of thought and movement are limited and shaped by various factors embedded in their bodies, in their minds, and in the environment that they co-create as connected bodies. Therefore, they definitely have a hyungsang aspect as well; both inner hyungsang and outer hyungsang must exist in the spirit world.

The interaction within God’s Original Sungsang results in a type of creation; Unification Thought discusses this as the developing inner four-position base. This describes an interaction between mind/spirit/reason (of the inner sungsang) and distinct images/ideas/laws (of the inner hyungsang) centering upon the purpose of creation to form a new entity with independent existence, called a logos.[21] In Unification Thought, “logos” does not mean the Greek concept of a purely abstract principle that is the blueprint for all things. On the contrary, there are an infinite number of logoi, each one a distinct existence endowed with its own mind and body elements. This is because the inner hyungsang includes the individual images of all beings. Thus, centered on a particular individual image, the inner hyungsang and inner sungsang engage in give-and-take to create a particular logos.[22]

Each logos is a unique and distinct entity within the mind of God. It is the subjective element that determines entities in the spirit world. Moreover, since each is the union of God’s dual characteristics, it must possess energy—the force of give-and-take action that results from the operation of Universal Prime Force. Therefore, it is “living,” endowed with God’s life. It manifests the intellect, emotion and will of God suffused into a specific form. It would only take a small amount of God’s Universal Prime Force, which pervades the spirit world, to add the element of outer hyungsang to bring that logos to birth into the world of existing beings.

2. Universal Prime Force pervades the Spirit World as a “field” of love (sungsang) and as pre-matter (hyungsang).

The power to manifest an entity in the Spirit World derives from God’s Universal Prime Force. This Force has both sungsang and hyungsang aspects. Its sungsang is the “life field” which appears as the light and warmth of the central Sun. Its hyungsang is “pre-matter,” the atoms of spirit substance that coalesce around a being’s sungsang to manifest its form.

Unification Thought states, “The universe is a life field; it is filled with life. Life originates from God’s sungsang.[23] Testimonies of the spirit world describe this life field as the light of the Sun. In the higher realms where the spiritual Sun’s light is more intense, entities are filled with life. This light is the life field that sustains and vivifies all beings. As Rev. Moon teaches, “in the spirit world, people live and breathe centered on love.”[24]

Spiritualist research describes the spirit world as filled with “minute particles of matter which float through all the ether of space… invisible to man’s material sight but also incapable of being detected by ordinary chemical means.”[25] I postulate that this is the hyungsang element of Universal Prime Force, which Unification Thought calls “pre-matter.” It is the origin of all matter and the “latent energy… manifested in the matter of the created world and in its physical force”; it has the “potential to manifest itself as mass.”[26] Unification Thought also calls it the “external garment” that clothes the forms and images of the Inner Hyungsang.[27] Pre-matter does not remain as such, but congeals into matter of various degrees of fineness. In its lowest, or physical form, it becomes the matter of minerals, plants, animals and humans. In its higher, or spiritual form, it forms the spiritual body that clothes the spirit-mind or soul. Pre-matter must find a sungsang element around which to congeal. Whether in its lower (physical) or higher (spiritual) forms, it is a law that these atoms “should clothe the higher soul principle, or they lose their power of cohesion and are diffused into their elemental parts again.”[28]

As Universal Prime Force is the union of sungsang and hyungsang elements, the strength of the sungsang determines the vibrational frequency of the hyungsang. That is, it is commonly observed that matter in the higher spheres, being bathed in the sunlight of God, is of a finer and more ethereal form, while matter in the lower spheres is denser, and in the hells is densest of all. Matter that is amply endowed with sungsang life elements can easily respond to the sungsang elements of created beings. That is why creation, locomotion and action in the spirit world are said to be nearly effortless in the higher realms, where God’s life element are plentiful, and very difficult in the lower realms, where it is scarce.

3. Entities in the Spirit World form according to the model of the 2-stage structure of creation in Unification Thought. The logos, formed through the inner four-position base, joins directly with elements of pre-matter to manifest as a substantial form.

In some texts of Unification Thought, the creation of a bird is described as the manifestation of its logos (sungsang) by give-and-take action with pre-matter (hyungsang). In Explaining Unification Thought:

Once the purpose for creating something—such as a bird—is formed by Heart, the Inner Sungsang (intellect, emotion, and will) interacts with the idea or image in the Inner Hyungsang. God thinks with His intellect (especially with reason), “How can I realize the idea of a bird? What color should it be? What should the shape and the structure of the feathers be like? How should the bones and muscles be constructed?” Next, He makes a specific plan for creating the bird… The concrete plan of the bird is its Logos… The actual bird is the result of the give-and-take action between Logos and Hyungsang (pre-matter). Logos is in the subject position; pre-matter, in the object position.[29]

The substantial bird appears directly as the multiplied body of the outer developing four-position base. Since the blueprint for its complex structure is contained within its creator’s sungsang, it can be formed through the power of thought directly mobilizing the basic elements of spirit matter.

This is actually seen in the creation of spirit entities, where pre-matter spontaneously coalesces around a well-conceived logos. In Borgia’s description of the creation of a flower, the student gardener consults drawings and envisions the flower as an image in his mind, which he then projects by the power of thought into a flowerpot. Gradually, as if by magic, the flower takes shape. What is happening is that atoms of pre-matter are spontaneously drawn to the image (logos) of a flower, which the student is projecting out of his mind into the flowerpot. These supply the proper hyungsang element appropriate to the sungsang, as water fills a pitcher and takes its shape.

However, at that point it lacks a soul-essence of its own. If nothing else were to happen, the flower would soon fade away. When its form is complete, having passed inspection by the teacher, he sends a flash of blue light into the flower, and it lives![30] This is the step when God’s life element is added, endowing the flower with its own inner sungsang, the power of life. The structure of the flower is complete, and it can exist for eternity.

Such direct creation does not obtain in the physical world, where the various strata of physical matter—mineral, plant and animal—that mediate the manifestation of a being’s logos in substantial form may require a process of millions of years. Entities in the Spirit World apparently lack this layered strata, and so can form spontaneously out of thought.

4. The spirit world lacks the structure of layered strata such as is found in the physical world. The complexity of existing beings, which science usually attributes to the layered strata of matter, is rather completely explained by the complexity of their logos.

The spirit world is not simply a copy of the physical world in another dimension. There are qualitative differences between the two worlds. The difference becomes evident when examining the structure of their sungsang and hyungsang elements.

According to Unification Ontology, all things in the physical world are composed of sungsang and hyungsang elements in a layered structure. Each entity has sungsang and hyungsang elements particular to its level, built upon substrata of lower sungsang and hyungsang elements. The sungsang and hyungsang at the highest level exerts the controlling influence and establishes the essential identity of the being.[31] Thus, plants have their peculiar sungsang (life) and hyungsang (cellular organization), built upon the substratum of minerals with their sungsang (physio-chemical character) and hyungsang (atoms and molecules). Animals have their peculiar sungsang (instinctive mind or animal soul) and hyungsang (a body capable of sensation and locomotion) built upon the substrata common to plants and minerals. Finally, human beings have a sungsang (spirit mind) and hyungsang (spirit body) built upon substrata common to animals, plants and minerals.

These strata clearly developed along an evolutionary path of creation, from lower to higher, simple to complex. Moreover, the physical nourishment that sustains life travels up these strata, as minerals, plants and animals are absorbed into the substance of human beings, who stand at the pinnacle of creation.[32]

By the principle of resemblance, one might expect that all things in the spirit world would likewise be ordered in a hierarchy of being and composed of layered strata of sungsang and hyungsang elements. However, several considerations suggest that spirit entities lack a layered structure.

First, accounts of the spirit world suggest that plants, animals and human bodies do not decay into foundational strata that would be expected on earth. When a person eats a plum, the juice that dribbles out disappears spontaneously without leaving a watery residue. A flower when picked simply dissolves into its elements. On earth, such plants would decay into their mineral constituents, but such is not the case in the spirit world.

Second, human thought and will can suddenly alter the forms of its surroundings. Such behavior would be impossible for physical entities whose forms are grounded in lower strata of matter, and therefore exist independently of their human subjects.

Third, it doesn’t appear that animals and plants in the spirit world depend upon plants and minerals as their foundational strata. Animals in the spirit world have no need for food, and hence live peaceably with each other. Rather, in the spirit world the source of nourishment is God’s love. Plants do not grow from seeds, and neither animals nor humans exhibit the temporal pattern of growth from youth to adult that on earth is determined by the biology of life (the stratum of plants). From this evidence, we surmise that spirit entities lack a layered structure.

How can spirit plants, animals and humans exhibit all the complexity of their earthly counterparts without having a layered structure? Whence comes the complexity of skin and bones and tissue? Returning to the example of the creation of a bird, Unification Thought explains that the blueprint for its complex structure is contained within its creator’s sungsang, within its logos. The logos contains all the necessary information, as Unification thought teaches:

God conceived the image of man first. Then He conceived the images of animals, plants, and finally minerals—taking the image of man as the standard. This is the downward process of creation of images (Logos) in the mind of God.[33]

Within the mind of God, the individual images of humans, animals and other higher beings contain all details of their structure in its full complexity. God obtained the images of simpler entities by a process of subtraction from the complete and comprehensive Logos that is the image of the human being. Therefore, there should be ample information in the sungsang by which to form the substantial bodies of spirit entities.

However, in the process of creation of entities the physical world, Unification Thought honors the evolutionary paradigm of science and the resultant strata found in existing beings. In this case, the process of creation of the Logos of all things in the mind of God is separated by eons of time from the process of their substantial manifestation: “In the phenomenal world, however, God created everything starting from the minerals, then plants, animals, and finally man.”[34]

Burton has noted the seeming dichotomy between these two explanations of creation in Unification Ontology, one directly from the sungsang through interaction with the Universal Prime Force, the other mediated by the upward flow of creation through the levels of being.[35] However, it seems that these two explanations are both accurate. The first applies to creation in the spirit world, the second to creation in the physical world.

5. Spirit persons in the Kingdom of Heaven have a unitary structure of spirit mind/spirit body without any layers. However, fallen spirits are covered by a denser “astral body” that corresponds to the thoughts of the evil mind.

Like all spirit entities, spirit persons in the Kingdom of Heaven have a unitary structure of spirit mind/spirit body without a layered structure. However, fallen spirits are covered by a denser “astral body” that corresponds to the thoughts of the evil mind. As spirits resurrect, they shed their lower astral body for a finer one, much as a physical person sheds his physical body. The body of a low spirit is ugly and coarse-featured, but after it has resurrected his or her body becomes young and beautiful. Hence, a spirit person’s most fundamental essence is inward.

Just as at death the spirit leaves its body behind, so we learn that when an evil spirit resurrects to a higher realm, it may “die” and leave behind its gross body while a fine “mist” congeals into a new, purified body. It seems that, just as on earth, the body that carries a spirit’s identity may not be the same as the body that manifests its external form. According to Daemonim, a spirit can even shrink itself to microscopic size to invade a person’s body.[36] Angels, too, have the ability to change their form at will, according to Dr. Lee appearing as male or female as the situation requires. The apparent form of an angel is not likely to be its true form.

This leads us to conclude that spirit persons in the spirit world retain a layered structure of two strata, which correspond to the eternal spirit self and temporal physical self of earthly people. After the spirit self arrives in the spirit world, it is clothed again with another outward form, or as Paul said, “For we who are in this tent groan, being burdened, not because we want to be unclothed, but further clothed.”[37] This clothing is often called the “astral body.” It takes on a shape appropriate to the spirit’s level and the realm of its habitation. When a spirit is resurrected to a higher realm, it may cast its astral body aside in the same manner that an earthly person leaves his physical body behind at death. In this case, the spirit takes on a new, finer astral body that is fit for the higher realm to which he ascends. Still, even that body may be quite coarse and misshapen compared to the spirit’s true form.

Only when the spirit reaches the Kingdom of Heaven can it dispense with an astral body and thus display the full beauty of the spirit self. When the covering of the ugly astral shell is removed, the spirit body, which has always carried the glorious identity of a child of God, can be fully manifest. The spirit mind, untrammeled by the selfish passions of its fallen nature, can then fully manifest divine character. In the Divine Principle, the sungsang counterpart to the spirit body is not called the yeongshim, or “spirit mind” in Korean, but rather the sengshim, the “living mind,” which receives the “living elements” from God. This connotes that the spirit mind is fundamentally the dwelling-place of God. The concept of spirit self in the Divine Principle is thus inseparable from the Kingdom of Heaven. Accordingly, the sungsang element associated with the astral body of fallen spirits may be identified with the evil mind in the Divine Principle.[38]

6. Spirit persons as connected bodies create their spiritual environment out of the content of their thought, character and deeds. The principle of the connected body is very apparent in the Spirit World.

In the spirit world, the manifestation of a spirit person’s connected body is immediate and substantial. The connection between a person’s sungsang and hyungsang is not limited to the body, but extends in space and time to define his or her environment. The hyungsang “matter” of the spirit world that composes its lands, houses and vegetation takes on the design and qualities of the spirit persons who inhabit it. When those spirits move away and lose interest, the matter may dematerialize. Beloved pets that transmigrate into the spirit world are also of this type. Since the pet’s spirit body has no enduring reality apart from its connection to the spirit of its owner, the animal can even be regarded as the spirit’s offspring.

Spirits in hell may be imprisoned by their surroundings—buried in mud up to their necks or trapped in deep crevasses. These are the manifestations of their connected body, which is stamped with its own punishment.

As long as it is charged with the spirit person’s intent, astral matter can persist as a residue long after the spirit has left the area. “Hauntings” of earthly dwellings are often of this type; they persist even though the soul within has departed. Spirit persons in hell may be tormented by empty wraiths that manifest the form of their victims long after the victim has moved on; they are empowered by the energy of the criminal’s guilty thoughts. Astral matter can also be formed as a reflection or a projection of a spirit at a distance—as when Rev. Moon appears to many people at the same time.

Lower spirit entities, such as fairies, gnomes, elves and other elementals, are composed of astral matter thrown off of primitive humans and animals. Lacking a spirit of their own, they have no permanence. And they become rare in advanced societies where people’s spirituality and intellect is raised, and where people cease to believe in them.[39]

It can be maintained that a great part of the spirit world, its lands, vegetation and animals, were created as the connected bodies of the spirit persons who came to live there. According to the principle that man is the microcosm of the cosmos, God created the spirit world after the pattern (logos) of the human being. Rev. Moon observes that the entire spirit world appears in human form,[40] and Swedenborg too bears testimony to this fact, “The entire angelic heaven, taken in a single grasp, resolves into one person. This entity is divided into realms and sections that follow the members, organs, and viscera of a human being.”[41] However, it is also the case that human beings create the spirit world in their image. The principle applies, “whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” (Matt 18:18) Human influences form the spirit world. Humans create its regions and buildings out of thought patterns and behaviors generated on earth.

The current tormented and deviated state of the spirit world is a reflection of fallen man, its microcosm. As people divided into warring families and tribes and nations, the walls they created on earth extended into the spirit world. Thus the division of the spirit world into heaven and hell corresponds to the reality that human beings typically divide into good and evil people. The three levels of the middle realms, Paradise and the Kingdom of Heaven correspond to the three stages of growth as yet unfulfilled by humans and manifested in history as the three ages of the Providence of Restoration. The hierarchy of levels of human habitation in the spirit world should not be confused with the angelic hierarchy, which pertains to the original creation (see below).

Figure 1 describes the structure of spirit persons and all spirit entities as a simple, dual structure of sungsang and hyungsang, corresponding to the structure of the Original Image. The formation of entities in the spirit world is a process of co-creation, in which God and spirits (human and angelic) together enlarge their environment. It requires the participation of sungsang and hyungsang elements emanating from God as life elements and pre-matter, joining with the sungsang and hyungsang elements of the spirit for whom those entities form a connected body.

Figure 2 describes the structure of spirit persons and spirit entities in the fallen spirit world. Fallen spirit persons possess a two-layer structure. Their spirit mind is clouded by an evil mind, and their spirit body is clothed in an astral body. They poorly receive God’s life elements. The entities that they create are likewise devoid of life. With even the pre-matter in the lower spheres vibrating at a lower frequency, the resulting spirit world is heavy, with matter predominating over spirit.

7. The hierarchy of angels in the Spirit World corresponds to the hierarchy of galaxies, stars and planets on earth.

Unification Thought describes the physical world as a hierarchical system of individual truth bodies. These include hierarchies of size and hierarchies of complexity; for example galactic clusters, galaxies, stars, planets and their moons form a hierarchy of the former type.[42] Complexity describes the hierarchy of the kingdoms: mineral, plant, animal and human. According to Rev. Moon, “All beings want to be absorbed into higher levels of love. Thus, minerals want to be absorbed into plants, plants want to be absorbed into animals, and finally all of creation wants to be absorbed into human beings.”[43]

As regards hierarchies in the spirit world, spirit persons, who are in a position to have dominion over all things, stand at the center. However, there is no hint that among the conventional kingdoms, there is any manifest hierarchy from mineral to plant to animal. All things of spirit take their nourishment directly from God’s life element, without the need to consume beings of a lower order.

A second hierarchy in the spirit world is the hierarchy of angels. Mystics like Swedenborg have described a three-level hierarchy of angels. Conventional Christian angelology, as represented by pseudo-Dionysius, depicts nine “choirs” of angelic beings, grouped by threes. At the highest level (third heaven) are the Seraphim, Cherubim and Thrones; at the middle level (second heaven) are the Dominions, Powers and Authorities; and at the lowest level (first heaven) are the Principalities, Archangels and angels.[44] Angelic beings of the lowest level, being most exterior, have well-defined bodies resembling humans in appearance. They have the mission of messengers and guardians for human beings. Angels of the second level have broader powers to regulate the order of the cosmos, maintaining the harmony and movement of the stars and the elements of the spirit world. In the battle against the encroachment of evil spirits, they guard the passages connecting the spirit realms with one another and with earth. Angels of the third and highest level are rarefied beings of a substance finer even than air that cannot be described except by abstraction. The Seraphim and Cherubim are rendered as beings of flame and light, while the Thrones are likened to the many-eyed wheels of the chariot in Ezekiel’s vision.[45] Their basic nature seems to correspond to the mental qualities of divine love (emotion), harmony (wisdom) and will, respectively. Anthroposophist Rudolph Steiner says of the Thrones, “They do not consist of flesh and blood, nor even of light and air; but of what we can only observe in ourselves when we are conscious that we have a will.”[46]

However, it would be a mistake to regard the highest choirs of angels as closest to God, merely because their qualities are the most rarefied and abstract. The conventional angelic hierarchy stems from Neo-Platonic philosophy that places humans below angels in the hierarchy of being. From the standpoint of Unification Thought, however, human beings are the highest order of being, meant to take the central position in both the physical world and the spirit world. Rev. Moon teaches that human beings are superior to angels as God’s sons and daughters are superior to His servants. This view is biblical, following St. Paul, who called angels “ministering spirits sent forth to serve” (Heb. 1:14) and said, “Do you not know that we are to judge the angels?” (1 Cor. 6:3) Likewise, in the eastern traditions, the Buddha taught that in the round of birth-and-death, human birth was higher and more precious than birth as an angel, because only humans could ascend to Nirvana. The 20th century Hindu sage Paramahansa Yogananda said something similar, “The man form is higher than the angel form; of all forms it is the highest. Man is the highest being in all creation, because he aspires to freedom.”[47] Angels were created to be people’s object-partners, to be their servants, protectors, helpers and guides. God created them to help Him express love to human beings.

The purpose of the spirit world, like that of the physical world, is to provide a pleasing environment for human beings as God’s children. Therefore, we would suppose that those angels whose mission is to attend human beings directly stand closest to the center and have the most exalted station, even though according to the traditional hierarchy their level is the lowest. The Divine Principle teaches that Lucifer, an archangel, had the position of ruler of the angelic world prior to the human fall; he was the channel of God’s love to the angelic world.[48] Yet according to the traditional hierarchy an archangel is only of the eighth rank.

Unification Thought thus inverts the conventional angelic hierarchy, making the “bottom” level of Archangels and angels who deal with human beings the most exalted of the levels. From a human point of view, Seraphim, Cherubim and Thrones seem superior, particularly as regards the strength of their mental powers. Yet their greatness can better be likened to that of the sun and the stars, which seem great in terms of size and distance yet are quite low in the order of being as part of the mineral world. Since the spirit world proceeds from the mind of God, the mental faculties of emotion, intellect and will that are personified in the Seraphim, Cherubim and Thrones can be likened to the primordial building-blocks of spiritual creation, analogous to the powers of gravity and nuclear energy in the construction of the physical universe. Thus, Dr. Lee testified that while animals draw their strength from the earth, “angels’ organizations, systems and activities connect directly to the power switch of God’s heart.”[49] For while the physical hierarchy of being develops from nearly unconscious matter to beings endowed with acute mental faculties, the spiritual hierarchy of being begins from pure mind and develops towards the creation of the human soul, which is destined to be the dwelling-place of God.

To put it another way, just as the mighty sun exists to provide light and heat for human beings whose height is a mere 2 meters, the way of the spirit world is one of service, with the stronger power serving the weaker.

8. The Spirit World was not created with yang and yin. The core principles of the Spirit World are subject-object, operating vertically, and the three-fold division of mind as intellect, emotion and will. The duality of yang and yin was created first in the physical world. It was to appear in the Spirit World only with the marriage of perfected Adam and Eve, at which point the horizontal realm of Earth and the vertical realm of Heaven would unite.

While the dual characteristics of sungsang and hyungsang are clearly manifest in the spirit world, the dual characteristics of yang and yin are only poorly described. Neither spirit plants nor spirit animals multiply offspring, and among them there is no union of male and female. Creation in the spirit world is rather a mental process, as described above. As for angels, they were all created male, and have existed that way for billions of years, although they can manifest male or female form at will.[50] Only once perfected humans arrive in the spirit world and take up residence there, does conjugal love appear there for the first time.[51] Meanwhile, angels await the advent of this human conjugal love in the spirit world before their female counterparts will be created and given them in marriage.[52]

This raises some difficult questions. As a reflection of the Original Image, the spirit world should express the dual characteristics of yang and yin on every level, yet apparently it does not. Does this make the spirit world defective? What are yang and yin in the spirit world? Why does their manifestation change so dramatically when perfected human beings arrive there, rather than develop in a progressive manner as is seen in the physical world? I will address these questions in the context of some more general observations about Unification Thought’s ontology as it concerns yang and yin.

1. Lack of a fundamental theory concerning the attributes of sungsang

Unification Thought discusses the yang and yin as aspects of sungsang and hyungsang. Regarding the former, Unification Thought describes yang and yin aspects of the human mind as joyful and sorrowful, pleasant and unpleasant (emotion); clear and vague, witty and serious (intellect); active and passive, creative and conservative (will).[53] That yang and yin are attributes of intellect, emotion and will implies that the three-fold division of sungsang as intellect, emotion and will is more fundamental than the duality of yang and yin. Yang and yin are not only attributes of sungsang; they are secondary attributes of each of these three primary attributes sungsang. What is the fundamental origin of the three-fold division of the sungsang? This remains an unexplored topic.[54]

This is issue is of particular consequence for the ontology of the spirit world, which originates primarily from God’s mind. The chief division among angels seems to be three-fold rather than dual. There are three archangels (Lucifer, Gabriel and Michael), three levels of angels, and each level has three types of angel (e.g. Seraphim, Cherubim and Thrones in the 3rd level). The guiding pattern here is resemblance to intellect, emotion and will in the inner sungsang of the Original Image.

2. The priority of subject and object

Unification Thought describes yang and yin as a type of subject and object. Subject and object is a broader category that includes the relationships of sungsang and hyungsang, yang and yin, and principal and subordinate (e.g., parent and child).[55] Most of the contrasts that Dr. Lee describes as distinguishing yang and yin aspects of mind, e.g., active vs. passive, extroverted vs. introverted, adventurous vs. conservative, can also be described in terms of subject and object.[56] In his messages from the spirit world, Dr. Lee speaks in terms of subject-object relations, even when his topic is the relationship between husband and wife.[57] Angels exhibit the subject-object relations of the principal-subordinate type. In general, the subject-object relationship is the more comprehensive category for analyzing the spirit world.

3. The human act of marriage is about more than yang and yin

According to the Divine Principle, when perfected man and woman join as a couple, the man represents all the yang elements in the cosmos and the woman represents all the yin elements in the cosmos. At the same time, God comes down vertically to dwell in the midst of their union. It is also the starting-point of creating a child. In other words, the unity of husband and wife is the unity of yang and yin and at the same time the unity of Heaven and earth.

4. Yang and yin are fundamental to the hyungsang

The application of yang and yin to phenomena of the physical world, from atomic charge to animal reproduction, is beyond dispute. However, yang and yin obtain most fundamentally in the hyungsang. They are strongly expressed even in the smallest particles, as well as in bisexual flowering plants, where there is little or no differentiation of the yang and yin attributes of sungsang.

Still, we are left with the incontrovertible problem that the spirit world by itself appears to be a less than perfect reflection of the Original Image, particularly when compared with the physical world where male-female relationships are ubiquitous. There is no procreation in the spirit world, and until recently, marriages seem to have been a rarity.[58] In contrast, the physical world exhibits continuous development of yang and yin in the reproductive relationships among plants and animals, which serve as object lessons in love.

One way out of this conundrum is to revisit the theory of yang and yin as it was originally conceived in Oriental philosophy. In the I Ching, the primordial expression of yang and yin is the duality of heaven and earth. Heaven is creative; earth is receptive. Heaven is dynamic; earth is persevering. Heaven sends the seed; earth is the nurturing womb.

In the Divine Principle, the relationship of yang and yin correlates to the relationship between sungsang and hyungsang; thus God is in the position of the sungsang and masculine subject partner, while the universe is in the position of hyungsang and feminine object partner.[59] Thus, the spirit world, as a predominantly sungsang, yang world, has a deficiency of yin, viz., no female angels. The earthly world, as the yin aspect of the cosmos, is the field of activity for the Holy Spirit, Jesus’ feminine counterpart.

Human conjugal love is the horizontal expansion of vertical, divine love. The act of marriage unites Heaven and earth. Man is above; woman is below. Man gives the seed; the woman nurtures it in her womb. This is identical to the concept of the conjunction of yang and yin in Oriental thought.

Before the physical world was created, when there was only a Spirit World with its bands of angels, there was not yet any duality between Heaven and earth. Therefore, the principle of yang and yin had not yet been activated. On the other hand, the physical world was created from the start based upon a prior relationship with Heaven. Each creation in the physical world has yang and yin aspects expressed horizontally because it is reflecting a vertical subject-object relationship with its counterpart in the Spirit World. Therefore, from the start the principle of yang and yin has been fully active in the physical world. This hypothesis is also consistent with Rev. Moon’s teaching that God created the physical world because He is incomplete with His love object—His earthly “spouse.”

The spirit world developed first as an arena to express the mind of God, but the purpose of creation is to realize the world of love. Love cannot be fully realized only on the spiritual level, but requires the freedom and responsibility that comes with life in the physical world. Thus, angels lack the full freedom and creativity that humans have, but demonstrate obedience, as Dr. Lee states, “The system of the angelic world that was created for human beings has carried on just as has the obedient repetition of the four seasons… like the facilities and machinery in a factory.”[60] God created the physical world as the arena to realize love. For this purpose, He designed it with the major attributes of yang and yin.

We can know that from the beginning, the world of masculine-feminine relationships was God’s goal because He first formed the logos of Adam and Eve even before he began to create the spirit world with its angels. The spirit world by itself was unable to express true love and awaited its completion through the union of the divine pair, perfected Adam and Eve. The physical world, as the environment in which Adam and Eve would be formed and grow, was charged with masculine-feminine relationships throughout. Likewise, the physical world is where children can be born and raised, establishing lineage. The perfection of the family four-position base can only be achieved in the physical world. The Four Great Realms of Heart, the Three Great Kingships and God’s lineage can only be established in the physical world. All these require the principle of yang and yin.

We already noted another difference between the spirit world and the physical world: Only in the physical world do beings have layered strata. While in the spirit world creation from an individualized logos in the sungsang is direct and instantaneous, in the physical world it required millions of years of development to reach the point where God’s pre-existent logos of Adam and Eve could be expressed. Could this difference be connected to the need for the physical world, but not the spirit world, to express relationships of yang and yin? The interaction of yang and yin uniquely establishes the path for multiplication of things. Conversely, the spirit world’s method of direct creation out of the sungsang doesn’t work on earth. Perhaps, in order to reach the level where love could be perfected, God designed the physical world so that creation would require more than an act of mind; it would require real sacrifice and living for the sake of others.

Masculine-feminine relationships among all things on earth have been largely physical. With the appearance of human beings—spiritual beings—in the physical world, the principle of yang and yin finally ascends from a physical relationship to a true spiritual relationship. When these human beings, blessed with true love as husband and wife, ascend to the spirit world, they bequeath that relationship to the spirit world for the first time.

Thus we can understand that the Spirit World was created incomplete, as only a partial expression of God’s purpose. It had to await the perfection of God’s purpose of creation on earth, through the realization of true love.

9. Spirit persons are co-creators, who develop and expand the Spirit World according to their character and store of experiences. God seeks to experience the joy of the ever-expanding, ever-new cosmos that His children create.

The Divine Principle makes it clear that human beings are unique among all God’s creations in having both a spirit self and a physical self. This dual structure enables human beings to be rulers of both the spiritual and physical worlds, the microcosm of the cosmos that consists of both worlds, and the center of harmony between the two worlds. However, there is a second and equally important factor that qualifies human beings to exercise dominion over the two worlds: they are endowed with God’s creativity, able to participate with God in creating the universe. Unification Thought defines creativity as the ability to form inner and outer four-position bases in order first, to form a logos, and then to make it manifest in a substantial created being.[61]

God created the universe by first developing discrete logoi of His creations-to-be and then establishing them through give-and-take action with His Original Hyungsang, centered on His Heart and purpose. Human beings are also endowed with the ability to design and plan their creations and then build them with hyungsang elements of the physical world. Most importantly, humans are endowed with the freedom to establish their own perfection by fulfilling their responsibility, practicing a life of true love. In that way, they participate with God in creating themselves as the highest beings, the crown of creation.

When a person passes on to the spirit world, he or she takes with him the results of earthly life—character and deeds. These form the logos by which the spirit co-creates his or her spiritual home. Rev. Moon has likened the spirit world to a barn where the fruits of one’s life are stored. Having developed their character in freedom and having brought accomplishments in freedom, through their experiences in earthly life, mature spirit people come to the spirit world with a treasure-store of logoi and a mind that is clear and strong for exercising righteous dominion. When such people abide in the spirit world, they add novelty and their own unique accomplishments to enrich that world in ways that God cannot even imagine. For example, married spirit people in the Kingdom of Heaven can beautify their surroundings with the joys of conjugal love.

All this variety arises from the operation of yang and yin in the physical world, as the field where humans develop their heart, character and love. To put it another way, the challenge of living and loving in the physical world provides the traction that can propel a person forward in his or her spiritual growth.

On the other hand, as noted above, creation in the spirit world is accomplished by the power of mind. A person’s creativity can hardly go beyond the expression of his or her heart and character as they were formed during earthly life. Try as he can, a spirit cannot transcend the limitation of his mind. A resentful spirit remains resentful; an opinionated spirit remains opinionated; a greedy spirit remains greedy; a generous spirit remains generous. None can create much beyond the limited store of experience that they gathered while on earth.

For those whose life was deficient, as the spirit world lacks the realistic challenges found on earth, they are hardly afforded an opportunity to repent, to reassess themselves or change for the better. If they have not loosed the inner bonds of sin, ignorance, hate and fear while on earth, they will remain their prisoners in the next world. The only exception is if they practice living for the sake of others.

The activities by which earthly people fulfill their purpose of creation generate “vitality elements” to nourish the spirit self. Vitality elements add value to the spirit self and strengthen its relationship to God—and its eternal life. From the cosmic perspective, vitality elements are the hyungsang object elements that a person offers in response to God’s sungsang life elements. The give-and-take of life elements and vitality elements creates a resultant being: a perfected spirit self.

The Divine Principle says that vitality elements are generated by the physical self because the physical self performs the good deeds that contribute to the process of co-creation. However, it is possible for spirit persons to receive vitality elements by returning resurrection to a person on earth. The important thing is to gain the traction of deeds that lead to the fulfillment of human responsibility. The spirit persons who assist in forming the logos and fulfilling the deed are acting as co-creators with the earthly person. They receive the merits of their accomplishment.

Spirit people can also resurrect through good deeds in the spirit world, by receiving education or by joining the forces of good in the battle against evil. However, they still need the “traction” of a connection to the earth if they are to have the power to overcome their situation and ingrained attitudes that could otherwise easily defeat their efforts.[62] That is why prayer conditions for our ancestors are so helpful.

10. Angels were not meant to be co-creators, but Lucifer sought the dominion that belongs by right to a creator through causing the fall of Adam and Eve.

Angels are not designed to have dominion over the cosmos. For one thing, they lack responsibility for their own perfection. Angels are created in a mature state, as the archangel was when he tempted Eve.[63] Neither do angels participate in creating their eternal life. Their eternal existence is already decreed, so long as they remain in their positions as God’s servants. It is natural that they do so, as they are entirely dependent upon God’s life element. Third, angels are not co-creators of their environment. They do not create their own logoi, but assist God in His work to manifest the logoi in the divine mind. It is their honor to be God’s representatives.

Angels have free will, as humans do. In their dependence upon the divine mind, they will naturally exercise their freedom in obedience to God’s will. This served them well within the angelic system, but the creation of human beings opened a new realm of possibilities. Human beings were created with physical bodies to be what angels could not be: the love objects of God, the completion of yang and yin, and lords of creation. Lucifer and his evil minions exercised free will in leaving their positions, even though it did not benefit them, because they sought what they could not have as angels. Even at the cost of leaving the warmth of God’s life elements, Lucifer wanted dominion over this new realm of reality. Through the spiritual and physical fall, Lucifer not only dominated Adam and Eve, he also became the creator of the fruits of the Fall, including the children. God could not recognize such unprincipled creativity.[64] It is a false creativity that is not centered on God’s Heart or Will. Yet such was Satan’s desire for dominion that he was willing to corrupt the beautiful cosmos that God had prepared to be His object of joy.

Satan used the power of horizontal love to turn humans away from God’s life elements and instead to accept his empty nutrition. Ever since, people have been living centered on selfish horizontal purposes instead of seeking the eternal love of God. Satan lives as a parasite off fallen human beings. He leeches off the evil vitality elements they generate in their pursuit of power, wealth, knowledge and false love, for he is the subject of those false purposes. Meanwhile, he has deprived human beings of the life elements that they need for eternal life. Cut of from the source of love, people struggle over crumbs—money, power, sex, and worldly success. These goods cannot ultimately satisfy, even though they would have their place within God’s kingdom. Satan’s dominion is truly founded upon crushing humanity underfoot.

Such is the attraction of dominion that Satan cannot easily be moved to relinquish it. Reverend Moon recognized that it was his responsibility, as a human being, to regain dominion by subjugating Satan. That discussion is beyond the scope of this paper.

11. The central position of human beings in the cosmos is their eternal birthright, as the children of God. It does not change even after humans cast off their physical body.

The Divine Principle defines central position of human beings as the rulers, microcosms and centers of harmony of the two worlds. This is easy to understand as long as they live in two worlds, but can they maintain it even after they have passed into the spirit world and lost their physical body? If humans were less able to fulfill the purpose of creation after they enter the spirit world, then we would be left with questions about God’s purpose of creation. The God of perfect goodness would not purpose that human beings be the rulers of both worlds for a time, only to live thereafter in the spirit world forever impaired.

The deeper sense in which human beings are the centers of both worlds must remain valid for eternity. It must distinguish humans as superior to angels. Creativity is only part of the story. The deeper answer is that human beings alone are the children of God. By representing God, Creator of heaven and earth, human beings can become the veritable center of the two worlds. Rev. Moon teaches how this happens:

God created Adam and Eve first in order to become embodied and second to perfect His love. If Adam and Eve had become perfected embodiments of love, God would have dwelt in them and they would have become the perfect parents of love for all humankind. God’s image would then have been manifest as Adam and Eve, the incarnate Parents. Next, Adam and Eve were to have multiplied their children and established an ideal world. The ideal world established by human beings would have connected the spirit world and the physical world… After Adam and Eve went to the spirit world, God would have continued to manifest as the divine Parent, clothed in the image of Adam and Eve.[65]

Here we see three purposes for the creation of human beings, expressed in a way that deepens and expands upon the Divine Principle’s discussion of the Three Great Blessings that God originally mandated for Adam and Eve, “be fruitful and multiply… and have dominion” (Gen. 1:28). It is evident that these purposes are eternal, transcending both the spirit world and the physical world.

The First Great Blessing, to be fruitful, has the deeper meaning to become an incarnation of God, first in the physical world and then the spirit world. From God’s side, He desires to be embodied in bodily form in order to rule over the worlds of form—both physical world and spirit world are worlds of form. “Why does God need a body of flesh?” Rev. Moon explains, “Because the incorporeal God cannot have dominion over the corporeal world that He created, God needs an incarnation of God.”[66] God needs to establish His incarnation even in the spirit world, where He is also invisible. Thus in the spirit world, God appears to Christians clothed in the form of Jesus Christ. Spirit persons who manifest the fullness of God’s divine character become shining beings who naturally elicit respect, obedience and service from the angels. (Heb. 1:4-14)

The second purpose is to become God’s partners of love. God created human beings as his object partners, worthy to love and able to love in return. The deep meaning of the Second Great Blessing, by which a man and a woman share conjugal love and become parents of children, is that in doing so they cleave all the more strongly to the love of God, who dwells in the midst of their love. The physical world provides the setting for humans to form families and grow their love through the Four Great Realms of Heart, yet this love remains and becomes even stronger in the spirit world. Angels, who are created as obedient servants and lack a conjugal partner, cannot approach this level of relationship with God.

The third purpose of creation is to multiply offspring so as to establish an ideal society, one that is then mirrored in the perfect harmony of the spirit world. Here the linking of the two worlds is not a matter of one individual alone, but of family, clan and nation expanding its harmonious social relations in time and space. Each individual then participates in the whole as a connected body. This is the fullness of the Third Great Blessing of dominion. Hence, while Adam, or Christ, establishes the first example of dominion over both worlds in his person, he also propagates an ever-expanding family and society that extends his dominion through eternity. Every human being, whether living in the physical world or the spirit world, is connected to that dominion through his lineage. Lacking the heavy veil that today blocks perception of the spirit world, all humanity in heaven and on earth would live together and communicate freely.

Seen in this light, human beings attain rulership over the spirit world and the physical world by becoming the embodiments of God; they become the center of harmony of the two worlds by linking with the love of God; and they become the microcosm through establishing a good society that extends through both worlds. The completion of human beings clearly elevates the spirit world to a new level. Quite apart from the restoration of the fallen spirit world, with its incredible relief of human suffering; human beings will create a heaven overflowing with love, creativity and joy—an object of goodness so wonderful as to make even God speechless.

12. The Spirit World and physical world form a unified cosmos, relating as sungsang and hyungsang, yin and yang. This cosmos is only perfected with the advent of human beings who fulfill the purpose of creation.

In conclusion, Unification Thought teaches that the cosmos as a whole is an individual truth body consisting of the Spirit World (sungsang) and the physical world (hyungsang). This is because the cosmos was created after the form of the Original Image. Thus, the relationship between the spirit world and the physical world is one of sungsang and hyungsang, yang and yin.[67] Let us summarize this relationship.

First, we have seen that the spirit world is of relatively sungsang character because of the priority of mind in creating and sustaining all spirit entities. Creation in the spirit world can be nearly instantaneous, governed directly by thought. Spirit entities directly manifest the form of the sungsang, as particles of pre-matter adhere to the image of the logos. The physical world, on the other hand, is of relatively hyungsang character because the manifestation of the logos within God’s sungsang is painstakingly realized through the strata of minerals, plants and animals, requiring hundreds of millions of years of evolutionary process. Growth and development on earth follow laws that take into full account the limitations of matter.

Second, the spirit world is directly governed by God’s all-pervading love. This is the sungsang element of the Universal Prime Force; it energizes even the hyungsang elements and infuses everything with life. These life elements shine throughout the spirit world and nourish all existence; they are the power of salvation to revive the dead and heal the infirm. In the physical world, on the other hand, sustaining life requires effort to obtain nourishment from the material world. Love, healing and all growth are consequent upon effort and work. These are the hyungsang vitality elements that determine a person’s spiritual progress.

Third, a spirit person, as God’s perfect object, lives in both worlds. He needs to draw upon sungsang elements from the spirit world and hyungsang elements from the physical world in order to manifest a complete Divine Image that is not deficient in any part. He perfects his hyungsang aspect through nourishing his spirit on earth with vitality elements born of good deeds, and develops is sungsang aspect through developing his inner relationship with God, by which he can receive God’s life elements.

Fourth, in the case of spirit persons, hyungsang takes on an additional meaning. The impressions of a person’s earthly life become a spirit’s permanent record and determine his or her fate in the spirit world. They manifest the results of vitality elements that nourished the growth of the spirit self. Vitality elements and the record of a spirit’s deeds are hyungsang elements inasmuch as they determine the form of the spirit person’s life. They decide the spirit person’s new home and environment. They determine his or her outward appearance as well. We can well describe the formation of a spirit person as an act of co-creation, with the spirit world supplying the greater proportion of sungsang elements and the person on earth supplying the greater proportion of hyungsang elements.

The same applies to the spirit world as a whole, which has been growing for millions of years under the influence of the humans who make it their dwelling. Billions of human beings have come to the spirit world and impressed upon it the character of their hearts and spirits. The very layered structure of the spirit world, with its hells and intermediate realms, is the work of countless fallen people who have formed the spirit world in their own image. Thus, we can say that the predominant hyungsang element that gives shape to the spirit world is of human creation.

Finally, the spirit world is completed by the physical world. In this way both worlds function as a unified cosmos. From the perspective of sungsang and hyungsang, it is evident that before the creation of the physical world, the spirit world existed primarily as an expression of God’s sungsang. Next God developed physical world, starting from atoms and molecules of the mineral kingdom that primarily expressed God’s hyungsang. Over millions of years, with the evolution of plants and animals, the sungsang of God began to be expressed on earth in the form of life and consciousness. Likewise, in surveying the hierarchy of angels, it can be surmised that the initial created quality of the spirit world was almost pure sungsang and gradually shifted as more hyungsang elements were added, to form the angels who had sufficient solidity to attend and serve human beings. Finally, when human beings arose and could begin to impress their hyungsang on the spirit world, all things in the spirit world could develop finer and finer qualities as mirroring their development as hyungsang forms on earth.

From the perspective of yang and yin, the spirit world was created incomplete, waiting for its completion through the emergence of spiritual beings who perfected the dual characteristics of yang and yin on the earth. The logoi of Adam and Eve existed before the beginning of time, waiting for the day of their manifestation. Yet the spirit world at the beginning was practically devoid of the dual characteristics of yang and yin. They emerged only with the creation of the physical world, whence arose the duality of Heaven and earth. Out of the duality of Heaven and earth, yang and yin could be manifest horizontally in the particles, atoms and molecules of matter. Here was the field of yang and yin within which human beings could arise. Adam and Eve were to perfect their love as yang and yin in the four-position foundation on earth, thereby manifesting yang and yin in their divine perfection. They were then to bequeath these attributes to the spirit world.

Here we see how through human beings exercising the fullness of divine creativity, the divided cosmos could be unified for the first time. Both sets of dual characteristics—sungsang and hyungsang, and yang and yin—were to come together in the first perfected human family and thence unite and complete the two worlds. We can better understand how the cosmos thus developed through origin-division-union action, as God’s Original Sungsang and Original Hyungsang, Original Yang and Original Yin, divided for the purpose of coming together in a higher union.

Had the first humans not fallen, they would have become the incarnation of God, and the manifestation of God’s sungsang and hyungsang, yang and yin. Moreover, in their persons they would have united the spirit world and the physical world into the complete embodiment of God’s sungsang and hyungsang, yang and yin. The macrocosm and the microcosm would have rejoiced together at that moment of consummation, with God becoming all in all.

There are several additional lines of inquiry that ought to be pursued in filling out a complete theory of the spirit world. The nexus of the connection between spirit and matter is foremost among them. How does spirit influence matter? How do physical beings, including animals, recognize spirits? What is the mechanism of clairvoyance, clairaudience, and other spiritual gifts? What is the mechanism of spiritual healing? What physical properties of astral matter could be exploited in electromechanical devices to receive messages from spirits?

In these Last Days, in a time of growing oneness between the spirit world and the physical world, we expect that more detailed and accurate information about the spirit world will gradually be revealed to investigators and scholars. We therefore look forward to further research that may refine or modify the hypotheses put forward in this paper.



[1] For an earlier effort by this author, see Andrew Wilson, “Foundations for a Theory of Spirit World and Spirit Persons in Unification Thought,” 13th International Symposium on Unification Thought, Prague, December 2001.

[2] Sang Hun Lee, Life in the Spirit World and on Earth, reported by Young Soon Kim (New York: FFWPU, 1998), p. x.

[3] Lee, Life in the Spirit World; and Sang Hun Lee, Messages from the Spirit World, reported by Young Soon Kim (New York: FFWPU, 2001).

[4] Andrew Wilson, “Visions of the Spirit World: Sang Hun Lee’s Life in the Spirit World and on Earth Compared with Other Spiritualists’ Accounts,” Journal of Unification Studies 2 (1998): 123-147.

[5] For organizations and individuals pursuing communica­tion with the spirit world by electromechanical means, including examples of sound recordings and photo­graphs allegedly of spirits, see

[6] Carl B. Becker, Paranormal Experience and Survival of Death (Albany, NY: SUNY Press, 1993).

[7] Kerry Pobanz, The Spirit-Person and the Spirit-World (New York: HSA Publications, 2001), p. 3.

[8] Sun Myung Moon, “The Path of Life for All Humankind,” in True Family and World Peace (New York: FFWPU, 2000), p. 102.

[9] Sun Myung Moon, “Understanding Life and Death,” in True Family and World Peace, p. 118.

[10]Lee, Messages from the Spirit World, p. 5.

[11] Lee, Life in the Spirit World, p. 30; Pobanz, Spirit-Person, p. 15.

[12]Lee, Messages from the Spirit World, pp. 3-4.

[13] Anthony Borgia, Life in the World Unseen (London: Psychic Press, 1954), p. 26.

[14] Franchezzo, A Wanderer in the Spirit Lands, recorded by A. Farnese (London, 1895; reprinted West Grove, PA: AIM Publishing, 1993), p. 104. Theosophist C. W. Leadbeater, in Man Visible and Invisible (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 2000), likewise describes that the ascent from the earth-plane to a spirit’s destined dwelling in the spirit lands requires casting off the astral body, a process which normally takes days or weeks. This may explain the Korean custom of celebrating a spirit’s ascension 40 days after the funeral.

[15] Franchezzo, A Wanderer, pp. 73-75, 130-31, 194-195.

[16] Anthony Borgia, More about Life in the World Unseen (London: Psychic Press, 1956), pp.97-105.

[17] Borgia, Life in the World Unseen, pp. 26-27.

[18] Borgia, More about Life in the World Unseen, p. 23.

[19] Franchezzo, A Wanderer, pp. 94, 225-230.

[20] Lee, Life in the Spirit World, p. 30; Pobanz, Spirit-Person, p. 15.

[21] Sang Hun Lee, Essentials of Unification Thought: The Headwing Thought (Tokyo: Unification Thought Institute, 1992), pp. 30-31. [EUT]

[22] Sang Hun Lee, Explaining Unification Thought (New York: Unification Thought Institute, 1981), p. 35

[23] EUT, p. 48.

[24] Sun Myung Moon, “The Path of Life for All Humankind,” in True Family and World Peace, p. 102.

[25] Franchezzo, A Wanderer, p. 228.

[26]Explaining Unification Thought, pp. 10-11.

[27] EUT, p. 422.

[28] Franchezzo, A Wanderer, p. 228.

[29]Explaining Unification Thought, p. 35.

[30] Borgia, More about Life in the World Unseen, pp. 94-105.

[31] EUT, pp. 43-47.

[32] Sun Myung Moon, “Everybody Wants True Love,” in True Family and World Peace, p. 149.

[33]Explaining Unification Thought, p. 69

[34]Explaining Unification Thought, p. 69

[35] David Burton, “An Exploration of Questions in the Ontology of Unification Thought,” Journal of Unification Studies 5 (2002), forthcoming.

[36]The Chung Pyung Providence and the Way of Blessed Families (Seoul: Sunghwa, 2000), pp. 66-73. Daemonim, “Great Mother,” is the Unificationist title of Mrs. Soon Ae Hong, Rev. Moon’s mother-in-law, who passed into the spirit world in 1989 and then began sending revelations to earth and manifesting spiritual healing power through her intermediary, Mrs. Hyo Nam Kim.

[37] 2 Corinthians 5:4

[38] Creation 6.3.3, Exposition of the Divine Principle, p. 51.

[39] Franchezzo, A Wanderer, pp. 56-67, 99-103.

[40] Sun Myung Moon, “Master Speaks,” transcribed notes, 1965, in Pobanz, Spirit-Person, p. 23.

[41] Emanuel Swedenborg, Divine Love and Wisdom, trans. George F. Dole (West Chester, PA: Swedenborg Foundation, 1985), p. 288.

[42] EUT, pp. 52-53.

[43] Sun Myung Moon, “Everybody Wants True Love,” in True Family and World Peace, p. 149.

[44] Pobanz, Spirit-Person, p. 94.

[45] Ezekiel 1

[46] Rudolph Steiner, Spiritual Beings in the Heavenly Bodies and in the Kingdoms of Nature (Hudson, NY: Anthroposophic Press, 1992 [1912]), pp. 81-82.

[47] Paramahansa Yogananda, Autobiography of a Yogi (Los Angeles: Self-Realization Fellowship, 1972 [1946]).

[48] Fall 2.2.1, Exposition of the Divine Principle, pp. 63-64

[49]Lee, Messages from the Spirit World, p. 5.

[50]Lee, Messages from the Spirit World, pp. 3-4.

[51] Lee, Life in the Spirit World, pp. 33-34.

[52]Lee, Messages from the Spirit World, pp. 12-14.

[53] EUT, pp. 48-49.

[54] There is also a three-fold structure of quarks at the deepest level of matter.

[55] The duality of principal and subordinate is characteristic of created beings but is lacking in the Original Image, which only has the dualities of sungsang and hyungsang and yang and yin. Rather than posit three types of duality in the created world as opposed to two types of duality in the Original Image, one could surmise that the subject-object relationship in the Original Image contains both principal and subordinate and yin and yang. That analysis better preserves the resemblance between the Original Image and individual embodiments of truth in the created world.

[56] EUT, p. 52.

[57] Lee, Life in the Spirit World, pp. 49-52.

[58] Matt. 22:30. See Wilson, “Visions of the Spirit World,” p. 128 on the lack of families in Borgia’s typical account of life in the hereafter. Earthbound spirits may retain the ability to engage in sex as incubi, but they rapidly loose this power as they descend into hell. This describes the situation prior to the providence of the Blessing, which is currently transforming the spirit world into a place where families are the norm.

[59] Creation 1.1, Exposition of the Divine Principle, p. 19.

[60]Lee, Messages from the Spirit World, p. 5.

[61] EUT, pp. 25-26, 104.

[62] This is the premise of Franchezzo’s remarkable progress; see A Wanderer, pp. 30-32, 38, 53-54

[63] Fall 2.2.1, Exposition of the Divine Principle, p. 64

[64] Fall 6.2, Exposition of the Divine Principle, p. 77.

[65] Sun Myung Moon, Blessing and Ideal Family, Part 1 (New York: FFWPU, 1998), pp. 12-13.

[66]Ibid., pp. 13-14.

[67] Creation 6.1, Exposition of the Divine Principle (New York: HSA-UWC, 1996), p. 45.