visiting a gap year program called DONE

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAA friend of mine started a gap year program a few years ago on the main land of Europe which is called ‘development of new environments’ (DONE).

It’s designed to help young adults as they come out of school to explore their faith and their sense of identity as Unificationists. They get to question a lot of issues they maybe took for granted growing up, discuss and study topics around their theology, and consider their personal walk with God.

He invited me sometime ago to come over to his Slovakian village 15mins outside Bratislava, to give a couple of talks and just to be around. And I’m just now on the plane home back to London after having spent 3 days there. Here are some of my thoughts as I head home:

As much as I am looking forward to getting home, I ended up feeling like I wanted to stay a few more days. i didn’t expect that.

It was a real blessing to be with those 24 eighteen to twenty something’s. I used to work together  a lot with Julius running summer programs and it was great to be reminded of the culture that was always there. I could observe a spirit of responsible freedom that has the potential to lead people to find a deeply personal relationship with God. Who wouldn’t want to connect to something authentic like that?

At the end when I was asked to say a few words: I said how there were 3 people I had been looking forward to catching up with (Julius, Patrick, and Frank) but I didn’t know any of the participants and wasn’t expecting for them to have such an impact on me. I had thought ‘they are all half my age and not people I know, and I anyway can’t get to know people in such a short period of time.’OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

But in lots of little ways they really got under my skin in a good way. They were simply hospitable and kind. For example I was having a power nap in the guys room just stretched out across their mattresses in their chaos, and a couple of them came in and stuck some chocolate under my nose.

They invited me to join them in their board games, they made conversation over dinner, and just felt free to be themselves and making me feel like I could just be part of their program despite just popping in for a couple of days.

I haven’t experienced something like that for a while in a church environment.

Before I left I got to listen to a few of Dr Frank Kaufman’s talks which were refreshingly profound.

So here are a few of my scrappily typed notes from today:

Principles and providence in the Unification faith:

God wants you to have a conducive and supportive environment in which you are able to do fulfil your calling and mission in life. He doesn’t intend or hope or want you to be in a hostile complicated, difficult environment.

Our basic mission is essentially the one He originally hoped the first human ancestors could complete:  to get married, and have a family that God could give his blessing to.

All the beauty in nature and all the magic of the different seasons were simply created with the purpose of providing your family with an environment  to walk through with joy and happiness and love.

What are Principles? = eternal. Timeless: never change, regardless of the situation,  they are always true, and accurate. They are the Constants in our life.

Who ever has the greatest grasp and certitude of these constants of life is going to be the most successful and have the greatest power in any given situation.

Let’s look at some examples of principles that we find in our unification teaching:

Give and take action: it creates energy and brings two things closer and closer together, until they become one.

This is true all the time and in any circumstance.

What about another principle? 3 stages of growth. (For anything to grow to maturity it needs to grow through the process or stages of formation, growth, and completion.)

This applies in any and every endeavour. The degree with which your innate reflexive impulse in respect of this principle is strong will impact on your success in any given situation.

E.g. If u want to get to know someone but you skip the ‘formation and growth stage’ and instead just go up to them and start hugging them or expecting them to have a very personal conversation with you, it is likely not to work out so well. You will probably repel them and end up with the opposite of what you had hoped for.

This is why if we want things to work out well in life it makes sense to pay attention to principles.

How do you know if a principle is true? By experimenting with it and attempting to apply it in all situations.

When it becomes an innate part of your life it becomes alive and real and helps you to function effectively as a human being.

If we take the time to think about God’s principles and consider how they might be applied, trying out his different laws in our day to day life, we discover their relevance.

For example, If u hear someone who has decided to perform a very difficult piece of piano music when they are not really up to it yet, they don’t sound good. It sounds strained. They have tried to skip a stage in their learning, and it is painfully obvious.

If they were to play at their actual level, just something a bit easier, then they can sound beautiful.

You want to be a person who performs at the level they are at, and doesn’t pretend to be better than they are.

Principles are neutral, and the actions and purposes to which they are applied determine whether they are result in something that benefits the greater good or rather serves a mean or unjust end.

People who are in command of a greater degree of certitude about these principles are going to be the most successful at accomplishing what ever purpose or goal they are aiming for.

The more and more principles that you don’t even have to think about because they are naturally incorporated into you being, the easier it is for you to operate and function successfully.

There are principles in music which if you understand and master, allow you to then create beautiful music.

Providence: is the path to accomplish our shared desires.

Movement towards the desired objective.

Providence is always the condition of the moment which defines and determines the necessary action.

Providence is enormously time bound, it asks the question: when is the right time to say something to do something, to start something? it requires intuition.

It’s the stuff that heroes are made of in the films we watch, and in real life.

To have the capacity of spontaneity that is always right.

We all have our own providence.

But Why is God’s providence the most important? Because it is the one that results in you being completely happy and full of joy and it incorporates and connects you to everyone else’s providence.

True Father claimed two things about himself

1 he was able to reveal and teach eternal principles of how you build things and how you repair things.

2. He was given a unique intuition, an ability to be able to be party to god’s providence. An ability to seek God, and be sensitive to the timing for doing things.

You can develop your ability to be intuitive, being able to catch the appropriate moment, to know when to speak, when to listen, etc.

The unification effort is to bring the fullness of principle and the fullness of providence together for god’s purposes.

There may be people who are smarter, richer, more beautiful, more influential than you, but if u invest in this unification path of becoming reflexively principled and providentially intuitive, you will eventually become the person who everyone wants to seek out, the person who can really make the most profound and most constructive and positive difference to their environment.

As a community what is our providence, our current moment, what is it we need to address?

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About simoncooper

working at 43LG church community in West London

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