In 2004 and 05, after going to Qufu for about five years and helping to form the sister city relationship with Boynton Beach, Florida and Qufu, we saw the potential of developing a connection between the Unity Church in Delray Beach, where I was a member, and Qufu. I became acquainted and made friends with several ministers in Jining and Qufu of the Christian Church Association and through a long approval process, was able to print the Daily Word that is printed in Unity Village, Missouri. It was through the financial assistance of the Unity Church in Delray Beach, and under the auspicious of The Kongdan Foundation that we were able to print 5,000 copies a month, 120,000 copies total, for two years (January 2006 through December 2007). By June 2013 when I completed teaching at Jining University in Qufu, I was informed that over two million people had seen a copy of the China Daily Word. Many people knew the connection between The Kongdan Foundation who was responsible for the China Daily Word and myself, the “Kongdan” who later was to become a teacher at the University in Qufu. Three people deserve special credit… first Reverend Nancy Norman of Unity of Delray Beach, Jiang (Jenny) the teacher in Qufu who did all the translating, and Lois at Unity Village who provided the Daily Word so it could be translated and published in China. And of course the members of the local Christian Church Association who distributed the China Daily Word to churches, small hotels, and other public places throughout western Shandong Province.
Having been a member of Unity Church in Delray Beach and understanding the Unity principles and Charles and Myrtle Fillmore, I sensed that there was a strong similarity of universality in the Unity movement that I had seen in studying Chinese history and religious thought over a twenty year period. While there are differences, there is no other western religious practice favoring Christianity more closely aligned with ancient Chinese religious than the Unity founded by the Fillmore’s. After showing the similarities in a very non confrontational way, the authorities allowed the printing of the China Daily Word.
Now in 2017 The Kongdan Foundation finds itself in Springfield. Missouri, where it’s principals, Dan and Marie DeCarlo, are from and have returned home to Southwest Missouri. The pivot is now underway… with the Kongdan Foundation leading the way.
The need for the Great Unity got it’s beginning during the Shang Dynasty between 1100 and 1500 BC. when atrocities against the common people were profound and when the “divine right of the king, i.e. emperor” was still being defined. The Shang were authoritarian and brutal and the need for the rights of man needed to be defined. It would not be until the next dynasty that the “unity” would be promulgated as how to govern by the Duke of Zhou, also known as Ji Dan, who was from the City of Lu (later known as Qufu). These rites would be further defined by Confucius, five hundred years later, who also hailed from Qufu. Confucius overall teaching of benevolence and virtue stems directly from these inherent rites of the need for unity in man’s endeavors.
The Great Unity (Chinese: 大同; pinyin: dàtóng) is a Chinese concept referring to a utopian vision of the world in which everyone and everything is at peace. It is found in classical Chinese philosophy which has been invoked many times in the modern history of China. The notion of the “Great Unity” appeared in the “Lǐyùn” (禮運) chapter of the Book of Rites, one of the Confucian Chinese classics. (Help from Wikipedia)
The Great Unity Translated by Derek Lin
The Great Unity is a utopian vision of the ideal world: a world of peace and harmony, where prosperity and joy prevail. It was first recorded in the Li Yun Da Tong, a chapter in the Book of Rites, one of the Confucian Chinese classics. Li Yun refers to the path of propriety. When we walk this path, we begin to understand right from wrong, and move from ignorance to enlightenment. Da Tong, the Great Unity, refers the world as one big family where people treat one another with love, honesty and mutual assistance. When such a world becomes reality, all human beings will enjoy equality and freedom.
Note: Some published material from I-Kuan Tao use “Da Tong” for Great Unity. This is an egregious error made by Tao members who meant well but did not possess sufficient understanding of translation methods, nor the most basic knowledge of romanization systems. Going forward, we should all use “Great Unity” as the standard that makes sense, has the virtue of simplicity, and is already accepted by scholars worldwide.
Later in an effort to solidify the teachings from the Book of Rites by Confucius came The Great Learning….
What the Great Learning teaches is: to illustrate illustrious virtue; to renovate the people; and to rest in the highest excellence. The point where to rest being known, the object of pursuit is then determined; and, that being determined, a calm unperturbedness may be attained to.
To that calmness there will succeed a tranquil repose. In that repose there may be careful deliberation, and that deliberation will be followed by the attainment of the desired end. Things have their roots and their branches. Affairs have their end and their beginnings. To know what is first and what is last will lead near to what is taught in the Great Learning.
The ancients who wished to illustrate illustrious virtue throughout the world, first ordered their own States. Wishing to order well their States, they first regulated their families. Wishing to regulate their families, they first cultivated their persons.
Wishing to cultivate their persons, they first rectified their hearts. Wishing to rectify their hearts, they first sought to be sincere in their thoughts. Wishing to be sincere in their thoughts, they first extended to the utmost their knowledge. Such extension of knowledge lay in the investigation of things. Things being investigated, knowledge became complete. Their knowledge being complete, their thoughts were sincere. Their thought being sincere, their hearts were then rectified. Their hearts being rectified, their persons were cultivated. Their persons being cultivated, their families were regulated. Their families being regulated, their States were rightly governed. Their States being rightly governed, the entire world was at peace.
From the Son of Heaven down to the mass of people, all must consider the cultivation of the person the root of everything besides. It cannot be, when the root is neglected, that what shall spring from it will be well ordered. It never has been the case that what was of great importance has been slightly cared for, and, at the same time, that what was of slight importance has been greatly cared for.