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In the view of many, humanity in the 21st Century has arrived at the cuff of a historic revolution, one which if its potential is realized will ultimately lead to a reconciled and peaceful global family, a true one-family world.

Innovations in modern technology are facilitating this revolution. Most recently, the emergence of the worldwide web and social media are serving as a global nervous system connecting the human community at an entirely new level.

Despite the profoundly transformative impact of such technologies, they are likely only the symbols of a much more profound evolution emerging from within the human family.

Three developments occurring in recent decades are particularly noteworthy.

The first integrative force has been the emergence of an age of religious ecumenism, resulting in the interpenetration by different spiritual traditions of heretofore mono-religious cultures. This is allowing bridges of understanding and appreciation to be built where there had previously been animosity and fear. Given the significance of religion and/or spiritual commitment in the lives of much of humanity, this new era of religious tolerance and respect is a huge development in opening the way to a greater connectedness for the global family.

The second factor pointing to a coming one family world is an emerging consciousness in many circles of the essential oneness of humanity. The idea is that beneath our apparent separateness as individuals we are in fact organically One.

This insight is finding increasing expression in the teachings of leading contemporary spiritual thinkers. Shortly before his death, for example, the well-known Trappist monk Thomas Merton commented to an interfaith gathering in Thailand:

"We are already one. But we imagine we are not. What we have to recover is our original unity. What we have to become is what we (already) are."

Likewise, the Vietnamese peace activist and Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh introduces the concept of "Interbeing" and explains that as humans we "inter are" with each other and with all sentient beings. For teacher Hahn the task now facing the human family is to "awaken from our illusion of separateness."

Along the same lines, the highly regarded Christian thinker Cynthia Bourgeault argues that Jesus' emphasis on "lov(ing) your neighbor as yourself," means loving your neighbor not "as much as" yourself, but rather loving him/her simply as a different expression of the deeper Self we all share.

Jesus' teaching thus points to an organic unity which all human beings share. Our superficial separateness is only one dimension of our total life.

This unitive consciousness is now emerging. While obviously it needs to be embraced more widely, its increasing recognition and adoption is nurturing the ideal of global unity.

The third factor pointing to a one family world is the emergence on the global level of the central component of a family, parents. This is the mission of Korea's Dr. Sun Myung Moon and his wife Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon.

Speaking to an Assembly of World Religions held in San Francisco in the early 1990's, Dr. Moon explained his idea of global parents, arguing that in a family the relations between siblings exists on the basis of their having common parents and that by a similar logic the emergence of a harmonious global family requires the emergence of parents on a global level.

As is well known, the teaching of each of the Abrahamic faiths, Judaism, Christianity and Islam, is that all human beings are direct or indirect descendants of a common set of spiritual parents, parents whose fall led to their own alienation, to fratricide in their immediate family and to continuing dysfunction and conflict in subsequent generations. Dr. and Mrs. Moon understand it is their task to reverse the parents' role in this history and to restore in the 21st century the position of parents of true love for an emerging, reconciled, global family.

The position of restored global parents is crucial as it is ultimately only with this position in place that the possibility of a one family world becomes real. Parental love is the element which can serve as a harmonizing center for world community.

Each of the three developments is transformative in itself and mutually reinforcing of the others. Their full fruition, however, ultimately depends on another development- the flow of true love within individuals, families and communities. It is true love which can foster the spirit of ecumenism, which can bridge our apparent separateness and which enables the position of global parents to be established.

All this said, and within the context of these broad developments, the vision of a one family world is ultimately rooted in the growth and transformation of each person. We each have a role to play, a role which impacts everyone else:

"I believe that if one person gains spiritually, the whole world gains with him, and if one person falls, the whole world falls to that extent."

~Mahatma Gandhi


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