Freedom and the Human Fall
What is the meaning of true freedom?
Three characteristics of freedom stand out. First, there is no freedom outside the Principle. Freedom requires both free will and the free actions pursuant to that will. The former and the latter have the relationship of internal nature and external form, and perfect freedom is achieved when they are in harmony. Therefore, there cannot be any free action without free will, nor can free will be complete without free actions to accompany it. Free actions are generated by free will, and free will is an expression of the mind. Since the mind of an original, sinless person cannot operate outside of God's Word, that is, the Principle, it will never express free will or generate free action apart from the Principle. Undoubtedly, the freedom of a true person never deviates from the Principle.
Second, there is no freedom without responsibility. Human beings, created according to the Principle, can reach perfection only by fulfilling their responsibility based on their free will. Accordingly, a person pursuing the purpose of creation as prompted by his free will ceaselessly strives to carry out his portion of responsibility.
Third, there is no freedom without accomplishment. When human beings exercise freedom and carry out their responsibility, they strive to accomplish results which complete the purpose of creation and bring joy to God. Free will ceaselessly pursues concrete results through free actions.
Freedom and the Human Fall
To summarize, freedom cannot exist outside the Principle. Freedom is accompanied by the responsibility laid out in the Principle, and freedom pursues accomplishments that bring joy to God. Free actions generated by free will bring about only good results. Therefore, it cannot be that freedom caused the human Fall. It is written, "where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom."63(II Cor. 3:17)RS|KJ|NI This freedom is the freedom of the original mind.
As long as Adam and Eve were bound by God's warning not to eat of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, they should have kept this commandment by their free will and without God's intervention. Certainly, the freedom of their original mind, which is inherently responsible and seeks the good, was prompting them to obey it. When Eve was about to deviate from the Principle, the freedom of her original mind aroused fear and foreboding in her in an attempt to prevent her from deviating. Ever since the Fall, this freedom of the original mind has been working to bring people back to God. Working in this way, freedom could not possibly have caused human beings to fall. Rather, the human Fall was caused by the stronger power of unprincipled love, which overwhelmed the freedom of the original mind.
In truth, human beings lost their freedom as a result of the Fall. Yet even fallen people possess intact a seed of their original nature which seeks freedom, and this makes it possible for God to carry on the providence to restore it. With the progress of history, people have been ever more zealously aspiring for freedom, even at the cost of their lives. This is evidence that we are in the process of restoring our freedom, long lost due to Satan. The purpose of our search for freedom is to facilitate the accomplishment of our God-given responsibility, which is essential for fulfilling our purpose of creation.
Freedom, the Fall and Restoration
It is true that human beings were free to relate with angels, who were created to minister to them. However, since Eve's heart and intellect were still immature when she was tempted by the angel, she became confused emotionally and intellectually. Although the freedom of her original mind induced in her a sense of foreboding, because the power of the love between her and the angel was stronger, she crossed the boundary and fell. No matter how freely Eve was relating with the angel, if she had maintained unwavering faith in God's commandment and not responded to the angel's temptation, then the power of unprincipled love would not have been generated and she would not have fallen. Therefore, despite the fact that freedom permitted Eve to relate with the angel and brought her to the brink of the Fall, what pushed her over the brink was not freedom but the power of unprincipled love.
Since Eve was created to interact in freedom with angels, she naturally related with Lucifer. Yet when Eve and Lucifer formed a common base and engaged in give and take action, the power of the unprincipled love which was generated caused them to fall. Conversely, since fallen people can also relate with God in freedom, if they follow the words of truth, form a common base and engage in give and take with Him, then the power of principled love can revive their original nature. Indeed, the freedom of the original mind yearns to cultivate fully the original nature. Hence, people in every age have been desperately crying out for freedom.
Due to the Fall, human beings became ignorant of God and His Heart. This ignorance has rendered the human will incapable of striving toward goals which are pleasing to God. As God has given "spirit and truth"64(John 4:23)RS|KJ|NI (meaning internal knowledge and external knowledge) to fallen people according to the merit of the age in the providence of restoration, their heart, which yearns for the freedom of the original mind, has gradually been revived. In step with this progress, their heart toward God has also been restored, strengthening their zeal to live according to His Will.
Moreover, as aspirations for freedom mount in intensity, people will demand a social environment conducive to its realization. When the social circumstances of an era cannot satisfy the desires of freedom-loving people, revolutions inevitably erupt. The French Revolution in the eighteenth century is one example. Revolutions will continue until true freedom has been fully restored.
The Reason God Did Not Intervene in the Fall
of the First Human Ancestors
God, being omniscient and omnipotent, must have known about the deviant acts of the first human ancestors which were leading to their Fall and was surely capable of preventing them from carrying them out. Why, then, did God not intervene to prevent the Fall? This is one of the most important unsolved mysteries of the ages. We can put forward the following three reasons why God did not interfere with the human Fall.
To Maintain the Absoluteness and Perfection
of the Principle of Creation
In accordance with the Principle of Creation, God created human beings in His image, with the character and powers of the Creator, intending that they govern over all things as He governs over humankind. However, for human beings to inherit the creative nature of God, they must grow to perfection by fulfilling their portion of responsibility. As explained above, the period of their growth is the realm of God's indirect dominion or the realm of dominion based on accomplishments through the Principle. While people are still in this realm, God does not directly govern them because He wishes to allow them to fulfill their own portion of responsibility. God will govern them directly only after they have reached full maturity.
If God were to interfere with human actions during their growing period, it would be tantamount to ignoring the human portion of responsibility. In that case, God would be disregarding His own Principle of Creation, according to which He intends to give human beings His creative nature and raise them to become the lords of creation. If the Principle were ignored, then its absoluteness and perfection would be undermined. Because God is the absolute and perfect Creator, His Principle of Creation must also be absolute and perfect. In summary, in order to preserve the absoluteness and perfection of the Principle of Creation, God did not intervene in the acts that led the human beings to fall.
That God Alone Be the Creator
God only governs over a principled existence which He has created and only sways the course of principled acts. God does not regulate any unprincipled existence which He did not create, such as hell; nor does He interfere with any unprincipled act, such as criminal acts. If God were to affect the course of such beings or acts, then they would necessarily be given the value of God's creations and be recognized as principled.
Consequently, if God were to have intervened in the Fall of the first human ancestors, He would have been attributing to those acts the value of His creations and recognizing them as principled. If God were to do this, He would in effect be creating a new principle that recognizes these criminal acts as lawful. Since it would actually be Satan who manipulated the situation to bring about this outcome, it would in fact be Satan who created another, new principle, and Satan would stand as the creator of all the fruits of the Fall. Therefore, in order that God remain the sole Creator, He did not intervene in the human Fall.
To Make Human Beings the Lords of Creation
God created human beings and blessed them with dominion over everything in the creation.65(Gen. 1:2)RS|KJ|NI Human beings cannot rule other creatures if they stand on an equal footing with them. They must earn certain qualifications to gain their God-given mandate to govern.
God is qualified to govern human beings because He is their Creator. Likewise, for human beings to gain the qualifications to rule all things, they must also possess the character and powers of the Creator. In order to give them creatorship and make them worthy to govern all things, God has human beings perfect themselves by accomplishing their own portion of responsibility until the end of their growing period. Only by perfecting themselves in accordance with the Principle can they earn the qualifications to rule the universe. If God were to rule directly and control the lives of human beings who are still in the state of immaturity, this would in effect grant the authority of a ruler to those who are unqualified to rule. That is, it would have the effect of granting this authority to those who have not yet fulfilled their responsibility or earned God's creatorship. It would contradict God's Principle because He would be treating an immature person as if he were mature. God, the Author of the Principle, would be disregarding His own Principle of Creation, which He established in order to enable human beings to inherit the nature of the Creator and govern the creation. Consequently, it was in order to bless human beings as the lords of creation that God had to restrain Himself from intervening in the acts of immature human beings, as He watched with trepidation their tragic fall.