Philosophy of the Family Peace Association:
Universal Principles and Values
Background to the Universal Principles and Values of FPA
Although humankind longs for a world of peace and happiness, and although we have made great progress in politics, economy, society, religion and science, our world continues to be plagued by poverty, hunger, illiteracy, disease, injustice, isolation, and conflicts. Is the world of peace and happiness a mere dream, or can it be realized? FPA believes it can. Global problems demand a global approach to solutions and the pooled resources of both science and religion. Such a spirit of cooperation will be attained only when all people view themselves as members of the same human family, transcending the interests of any one community or nation and accompanied by an attitude of sacrifice and co-operation. Only such a revolutionary change in our thinking can ensure our survival.
The ultimate reason for conflict is the conflict of value perspective. Confusion arises because standards of truth and goodness differ from person to person, caused by egoism – the selfish pursuit of one’s own interests – on the one hand, and differences in thought on the other – people are kept captive by their thought systems. The fundamental reason for egoism and varying thought systems is that the human race lost God, the absolute being. When we lost God, we lost the absolute standard of love and truth. Instead, our standards of love and truth became relative and we are unable to find any unifying understanding. We need a new thought system based on absolute values, which can unify all past philosophies and religions and establish a new moral and ethical system that promotes justice, freedom and human dignity beyond race, creed and nationality. This new thought system will provide the virtues essential for a world of peace and goodness, such as discretion, restraint, duty, wisdom, humility, gratitude, mercy, and empathy.
People of peace recognize that other nations, cultures and faiths possess contributions to peace that we do not possess, and that can enrich our own. People of peace do not claim a monopoly of truth, but create peace by recognizing the human responsibility to serve God through a spiritual path that each person freely chooses. In this age of global co-existence, all spiritual teachings must humanize and never create conflict. With the evolution of spirituality, the evolution of a universal ethic can come about, leading humankind into a world of co-existence, co-prosperity and common cause. An ethic based on universal principles and values transcends national and cultural barriers, is a counter-force to war and an effective tool for conflict resolution.
The Universal Principles and Values of FPA
Following the technological revolution, humanity needs a revolution of human consciousness in order to achieve a life of value by living in harmony with God’s purpose and laws. Both the spiritual and material dimensions of life are essential for human happiness; a balanced and happy life requires us to choose our priorities carefully. At the same time, happiness can only be realized when each of us serves the individual purpose and public purpose in complete harmony. On the level of the family, there are distinct roles, such as those of father, mother, husband, wife, elder and younger siblings, which, when fulfilled, maximize the love and resilience of a family and its capacity to benefit the community.
Created in the image of God, our Original Parent, all of us possess equal intrinsic worth, which is the basis for both universal human rights and social responsibilities. We have the potential to become free and self-governing beings by perfecting our love and rational understanding through family and community life. At the same time, as co-creators with God, we have the responsibility to develop a material environment that protects the sanctity of nature. Each of us possesses a distinctive personality, enabling us to make unique contributions for the benefit of humanity. Though we are unequal in talents and in contributions to social life, inequalities are harmonized through the principle and practice of true love, which is to live a life of benefitting others through selfless service based on our own unique talents.
The way to peace and happiness begins with love among individuals in a family. Societies and nations are organic organizations comprised of and based on individuals and families of love. The family is the most fundamental form of association, and a microcosm of community. Those who practise absolute love experience happiness, fulfilment and security, and are at home anywhere in the world. The family that lives according to universal principles and values, that practises selfless love and has God at its centre, is regarded as being a family blessed by God – a “blessed family” – and belonging to a single divine, universal lineage, rooted in God. God will raise and protect families that observe the moral laws and principles that he established before the beginning of creation.
Marriage gives permanence to love, and loyalty between partners gives strength to parenthood. Marriage produces continuity in society and cannot be replaced by alternative partnerships such as serial relationships and cohabitation. Marriage is a sacred institution, a union recognized by God, enabling men and women to fully participate in God’s creative work through the act of procreation in a family where God is present. The bonds of love in the family – between parent and child, between husband and wife and among siblings – can be absolute and unbreakable and so enable us to live with God, the absolute being of love. Love is the force that unites partners together to realize happiness, and is therefore the most precious and valuable thing.
Families of true love naturally work for the equalization of the world through the practice of God’s love, which is absolute love. Absolute love has a liberating power that enables us to love the people of the world as much as we love our own family members. Peace is not desired on the world level alone, but also on the level of nations, societies, and families as well; individuals yearn for peace between their minds and bodies. If the inner peace of the individual is established first, family peace will soon follow. On that basis, societies, nations and the world can become peaceful. This is because the individual is the basic unit of families and families are the basic units of societies and nations. Families fully realize their potential value when they live for the benefit of their communities by giving of themselves according to their numerous talents. They are able to melt mistrust and enmity through the practice of selfless love.
Organization and thought alone can never establish peaceful societies. Nations and thought systems have striven to realize peace but confusion is increasing. The peace of an individual can be realized by having love and practising it. This is so because love is the precondition for all unity; unity can be established on the basis of love. Then, on the basis of unity, peace can be established. The quality of love is crucial; love can be either true love or immature love; it can be either a self-centred love – which is changeable and unreliable, or a God-centred love – which is unchanging and which can achieve unity and harmony within the individual and in human relations. Such emotions as calmness, joy, satisfaction, and a sense of worth can be experienced through the unity realized through true love. A standard for peace can exist based on such individuals and families.
All the world’s nations need to co-operate closely in a global confederation of states, where we regard our identity as global citizens with even greater patriotism than our identity as national subjects. With such a global ethos, the plurality of modern civilizations will be no hindrance to unity and world peace. Global cooperation could begin with global economic integration and the sharing of technology. This will help to overcome poverty and the “North-South Divide” in wealth, while reducing economic waste. In finding our true spiritual path in life, we naturally become concerned with developing the knowledge and techniques necessary to solve the practical problems of poverty, hunger, disease and old age. When each nation ceases to place all its emphasis on trade and other ways that secure its so-called national interests, when each nation begins to serve other nations and the world with absolute love, and when each nation maintains such an international ethos consistently, the eternal peace of humankind will have been secured.
We must endeavour to overcome the gulf between God and humanity and the divisions among human beings by recognizing the unchanging value, uniqueness and dignity of each human being. The evolution of our spirituality will eventually bring us to the point where God can dwell within us, and in our families and communities, manifesting his presence in our daily lives. Spirituality and morality empower us and strengthen our human dignity by making us the authors of our own deeds and lives. Such families possess a clear moral vision and are not tempted to blame others for the world’s ills; they take responsibility for their own lives and for the future of humanity. Full spiritual awakening to all people of conscience is engendered by possessing an absolute value perspective and by practising consistency in upholding unchanging, universal principles.