Chapter XIII. Relation of the Degrees of the Natural Mind to those of the Spiritual Mind

 

THIS diagram presents the three degrees of the natural mind in certain relations to the three degrees of the spiritual mind, and the three degrees or planes of the world of spirits in relation to the three angelic heavens. (AC 4154, DLW 275, 66, 67.)

Below the natural or external mind C is drawn the spiritual body D, consisting of the spiritual-sensual and spiritual-corporeal g and h. These are called the spiritual sensual and corporeal in distinction to the natural sensual and corporeal organized of material substances. The sensual degree of the external mind f just above the spiritual-sensual, is the lowest degree of that mind and closely adheres to the spiritual body D.

The celestial degree a is drawn in red because red corresponds to love or the will, the dominant characteristic of this degree, and because red is the distinguishing Colour of the celestial heaven.

The spiritual degree b characterized by what is intellectual, is drawn in white because white corresponds to truth, the dominant characteristic of this degree, and white is a distinguishing Colour of the spiritual heaven.

The natural degree c is drawn in green because green corresponds to the ultimates of celestial love and spiritual truth in the lowest plane of the internal mind, and green is the distinguishing Colour of the natural heaven which is the lowest heaven.

The three degrees of the natural mind are drawn in darker shades of the same Colours but in reverse order, the highest green, the lowest red; this is to indicate the relation of each degree in the natural to its corresponding degree in the spiritual. The whole natural mind as one is an ultimate and base of the whole spiritual as one, but the lowest degree f (the red in the natural) is the special ultimate of the highest degree a in the spiritual, and the highest in the natural d of the lowest in the spiritual e; that is, a ultimates in f, c in d, and b in e, according to the universal law that the LORD works from the highest or inmost forms and at the same time from the lowest or outmost, developing, arranging, binding and thus preserving the intermediates. (D. W. in AE VIII, DP 124, 125.)

The celestial a passes indeed centrally through d and e in the natural mind to reach its appropriate f, as it had passed through b and c in the spiritual mind, and is the essential principle in them all, that is in b c d e; a being first and therefore universal must go to the last where it binds and preserves all. This descent of a is illustrated by the descent of nerves from the brain through intermediates into the skin whence they return again to the brain, binding and preserving all things of the body.

This relation of these degrees further appears where we show that the lowest degree in the spiritual mind when by regeneration it is opened and man is raised into it, rests as a heaven on the degree d, the highest in the natural mind, as its appropriate earth or base, b resting on e, and a on f. See Diagrams XXII, XXIII, XXIV. The same relation is seen from this that the lowest degree of the natural mind is the last regenerated and the highest degree of the spiritual mind is the last opened and entered. (Read AC 9216, 4353) Confirmation of the above relation lies also in the fact that the lowest or deepest hell which is in the lowest natural degree f, when this degree is perverted, is opposite to the highest heaven a. (DLW 275, HH 542, AE 1133.)

Below the natural mind are drawn the spiritual sensual and corporeal g and h. g is drawn in lightish Colour because the senses are the higher life of the body, the corporeal h, having in itself only insensate life, is drawn in dark. (AC 5077.)

The spiritual sensual and corporeal are composed of spiritual substances and are the lowest seat of the paternal proprium.

The natural body E being material is drawn in dark in contrast with the planes above.

Each integral part, namely, the spiritual-corporeal, the spiritual-sensual, each degree of the natural mind, and each of the spiritual is in itself a lesser human because the whole man is composed of parts which are images of the whole. This may be illustrated by the natural body, in which are several systems combined; for each system, the nervous, the sanguineous, the osseous, the muscular, the cutaneous, is, in a sense, a human system, and so a human in a lesser form. Thus man in spirit as in body is composed of many humans one above or within another from the foot of “Jacob’s ladder” to the top, that mystic ladder being the whole human and each step in it a lesser human.

This diagram is a key to many passages.

In The True Christian Religion we read, –

“The human mind from which and according to which man is man, is formed into three regions, according to three degrees; in the first degree it is celestial, in which also are the angels of the highest heaven; in the second degree it is spiritual, in which also are the angels of the middle heaven; and in the third degree it is natural, in which also are the angels of the lowest heaven. The human mind, organized according to these three degrees, is a receptacle of Divine influx; but still the Divine flows in no farther than man prepares the way, or opens the door; if he does this even to the highest or celestial degree, then man becomes truly an image of God, and after death he becomes an angel of the highest heaven; but if he prepares the way, or opens the door, only to the middle or spiritual degree, then indeed, man becomes an image of God, but not in that perfection, and after death he becomes an angel of the middle heaven ; but if he prepares the way, or opens the door, only to the lowest or natural degree, then man, if he acknowledges God and worships Him with actual piety, becomes an image of God in the lowest degree, and after death he becomes an angel of the lowest heaven. But if he does not acknowledge God and does not worship Him with actual piety, he puts off the image of God, and becomes like some animal, except that he enjoys the faculty of understanding and thence of speech. If he then closes up the highest natural degree, which corresponds to the highest celestial, he becomes as to love, like a beast of the earth; but if he closes the middle natural degree which corresponds to the middle spiritual, he becomes as to love like a fox, and as to sight of the understanding like a bird of the evening; but if he also closes the lowest natural degree as to its spiritual, he becomes as to love like a wild beast, and as to the understanding of truth like a fish”-TCR 34.

    The human mind from which and according to which man is man,” in this passage obviously means the actual mind which in itself is human, in distinction from the natural mind below, which is humanized only from the spiritual. The first or celestial degree, mentioned in the same passage, is a the highest plane of the internal mind, the second or spiritual is b, the third or natural, c. “The beast of the earth” is in d, “the fox” in e and “the wild beast” in f.

    The statement that the highest natural d corresponds to the highest or celestial a does not conflict with what is elsewhere said – that the highest degree of the natural d is the degree of the natural in which the lowest degree of the spiritual c especially ultimates, and that when d by perversion becomes a form of hell it is opposite to the lowest heaven c. The statement means only that d is the highest in the natural mind as a is in the spiritual mind

    Upon first reading, this number may seem obscure, owing to the omission of a distinct statement that there are three degrees in the natural mind, below the three degrees of the spiritual mind. The highest natural, the middle natural and the ultimate natural in the passage, are represented by d e and f.

    The order of the opening of the three degrees of the internal mind during regeneration, will be presented in Diagrams XXII, XXIII and XXIV. The closed state of the degrees of the natural mind, in the case of the wicked, will be presented in Diagram XXV.

    The spiritual mind, here drawn in three degrees is the same that is drawn in two degrees in Diagram XII. When this mind is drawn in two degrees, the lowest c in this diagram is included in the two; as will appear more plainly in what follows.

    In Arcana Coelestia AC 9215 the whole natural is equivalent to d e f g and h. (See also AC 1589.)

     

    Even God promises more transparency in His next administration

    Politicians, in order to get elected, are always promising to offer more transparency in government. This is the first big step in bringing about real change in government and to the lives of its citizens.

    The Lord, too, has promised to bring about a new administration that will change the way everything gets done. God will usher in a new heaven and a new earth and make all things “anew.”

    This promised change in the next administration is called the Second Coming. And it will include a new policy of transparency.

    God wishes to be less secretive in His dealings with us.

    In this divine policy for new change and transparency, the Lord God seeks to reveal the inner workings of His government (Divine Providence) to all. This will require revealing newer and deeper operations hidden within God’s revealed wisdom contained in the Holy Word.

    The Lord wants to remove any obscurity we might have about such doctrinal issues as salvation, the Holy Trinity, life after death, angels, heaven and hell, to name a few.

    Why has God not been up-front with us all these years? One big reason is that the human habitual mind and worldly psyche is not ready for these new disclosures, and rejects them. So, the second big reason is to protect these most sacred ideas from being trashed (and put humankind’s eternal welfare in jeopardy).

    Although people invite transparency, in theory, if something is revealed to them that challenges their current worldview, it causes a great upheaval to occur within their belief-system. This type of upheaval is what is actually addressed in the biblical account of earthquakes and battle of Armageddon at the time of the Second Coming. Paradigms and worldly institutions will be at stake from these new disclosures.

    In other words, the Second Coming will not be a physical event. God’s new disclosures are meant to bring about inner change – to our hearts and minds.

    This is why at the time of the Second Coming, the Lord God will “come with the clouds.” These are the clouds of mental obscurity that keep us from understanding the Lord more deeply and block spiritual light from penetrating our lives.

    A simple example of this mental obscurity is the understanding of Scripture only from the literal sense of its words – such as the “Flood” in Genesis portraying a physical event. The Lord wishes to disclose deeper meanings, meanings that have immediate relevance to our lives in today’s world.

    These deeper meanings of the biblical deluge can only become transparent with the Lord’s help. For instance, in Isaiah 54:7-9,11 it states:

    For a small moment have I forsaken thee, but in great compassions will I gather thee again. In an inundation of anger I hid my faces from thee for a moment; but in the mercy of eternity will I have compassion upon thee, saith Jehovah thy Redeemer. For this is the waters of Noah unto Me, to whom I have sworn that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth, so have I sworn that I would not be wroth with thee and rebuke thee, O thou afflicted and tossed with tempests and not comforted.

    In Luke 6:47, 48 we read:

    Jesus said, Every one that cometh to Me, and heareth My sayings and doeth them is like unto a man building a house, who digged, and went deep, and laid the foundation upon the rock; and when an inundation came, the stream beat upon the house, but could not shake it, because it had been founded upon the rock.

    With a careful reading, it is evident, even in the literal interpretation of these passages, that Scripture is using the phrase  “waters of Noah” and “inundation” to represent something psychical not physical. God is addressing an inundation of anger, that is, a stormy mental state, where faithless people are “afflicted and tossed with tempests and not comforted.”

    Would you have been astute enough to see something new being disclosed here if it were not pointed out to you? The disclosure is that a “flood” alludes to a deluge of hurtful and negative influences that drown out the spirit and its peacefulness (comfort) if we do not base our life on faith from God.

    For kingdoms (and their governments) to change, men and women must change. In God’s new administration, the minds and hearts of its citizens will change – one person at a time.

    Are you ready for better government during your lifetime?

    Posted on July 16, 2008 by thegodguy

    http://www.staircasepress.com

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    Plant growth – A lesson in spirituality?

    My wife and I have recently taken on an organic allotment plot to try our hand at vegetable and fruit growing. From what I have so far learned, I have been wondering whether plant growth might have something to teach us about the human side of life. What might be the deeper lessons in nature for us in our personal lives?

    Weeds

    plantThe bane of all gardeners is the weed. Covering the ground, it crowds out the vegetable plant, stealing both its sunlight and the nutrients in its soil. Everyone says one has to be persistent in noticing whenever these wretched things appear. And keep hoeing annual weeds and digging up deeper rooted perennial weeds.

    Isn’t it the same in our private life? Bad habits of thought can easily take root in us if we let them.  Our self-orientation attracts all sorts of these self-indulgent, envious or proud ways of thinking. Become too rampant and they are likely to choke out our better side. They have the potential to become the root cause of conflict, revenge, greed, and all the unhappiness.  One needs to be constantly vigilant in turning away from such harmful thoughts.

    Soil

    compostWe took on our plot at the end of autumn and were told to focus on preparing the ground for the next growing season. This has meant enriching the soil with compost and well rotted manure. We’ve also put in some seeds of so-called green manure which after sprouting will take nitrogen from the air – another way of feeding the earth.

    In these ways the gardener hopes to foster vigorous vegetable plant growth and prevent plant disorders associated with malnourishment.

    I would say our minds also need nourishing. Parents give children many useful learning experiences. Teachers provide food for thought. Books can provide the reader with enriching experiences. Just as the plant cannot grow without nourishment from the soil, so also our minds cannot develop without knowledge about deeper matters gained from others.

    Light

    Overhanging trees, which cause shadow on the growing vegetable plant, are not welcome to the gardener. The reason is a plant needs light in order to grow. plantPhotosynthesis is a process used by plants to convert light energy into chemical energy that can later be released to fuel the plant’s activities.

    We were advised to create pathways across the plot, rather than walk on and thus compact the soil where the crops will grow. Unlike on the vegetable beds, you can cover the paths with membrane and bark chippings to stop the light there and thus prevent weeds growing.

    Here then is another lesson from nature. The importance of light. No one wants to be kept in the dark about something. How could we understand what is going on? Hopefully, this article can help shed light on something for you the reader. Not everyone is willing to see things from a different perspective. But when new light dawns on something of personal significance, it can show us the way forward beyond our difficulties. It energises us with hope and opens up a new avenue.

    Warmth

    plantThe gardener is aware that plant growth also requires warmth. He or she will protect against frost by covering the ground to keep it less cold ready for planting when the weather improves.   Some seeds are germinated indoors or under cover for the same reason. Plastic cloches cover vulnerable plants to keep the cold wind off.

    Isn’t it the same with us? How can a tender mind flourish in a cold and bitter home environment? What person doesn’t need some warmth of affection or come into regular contact with warm-hearted neighbours, friends and work colleagues in their lives?

    Pests

    Our allotment is on a farm with woodland to one side. With all those trees it is a natural habitat for birds and other wild life. Some plot holders use electric wires or high fences to discourage the badgers from eating their produce. plantPigeons will strip brassicas, fruit bushes and strawberry beds. Employing nets is a good idea to keep birds off as they soon become blasé about scarecrows.

    Some insects are also a pain in the neck. They tunnel into crops and feed on plant tissue and ripening fruit. It’s a good idea to encourage hoverflies, lacewings and ladybirds who feed on troublesome aphids such as blackfly and greenfly.

    Day to day life for us humans is also not without its trials and tribulations. The key to personal well-being is not the presence of difficulties but how we deal with them. One must do as the gardener and take active measures. How we effectively deal with pests in our day to day lives will vary but it will take an act of will and determination. Perhaps, facing up to worrying issues, fighting against what is wrong, or challenging certain noxious people. Our inner growth means being free from what is destructive around us.

    Plant Disease

    plantPlant diseases are shown by a variety of signs, including moldy coatings, wilting, scabs, blotches, rusts, and rot. They are caused by fungi, viruses and bacteria. After, if possible, cutting off the diseased parts of a plant, the organic gardening approach is to keep the growing area clean; like cleaning soles of boots, tools, pots, seed trays. Plant debris are cleared away and any diseased material is destroyed.  One of the reason for crop rotation is to prevent the build up of diseases as plants of the same family will suffer the same disorders.

    Just as a diseased plant cannot prosper, so emotional sickness can hinder spiritual growth in a person. In tackling plant disease the organic gardener does not use unnatural chemicals. In a similar fashion, states of depression, fearfulness, stress and depression can be reduced without resorting to artificial means; for example by clearing away harmful and irrational ideas, unethical thoughts or unhealthy fantasies from the mind.  This is the opposite of the artificial approach of depending on alcohol, video games or antidepressants to reduce stress.

    Conclusion

    The gardener has to work hard but in the end it is mother nature that changes seeds into crops for eating. Similarly, we each need to work on our personal growth. Yet, alone of ourselves we cannot bring to life what is good. The organic gardener co-operates with light and warmth to grow the plant. In order to cultivate our spiritual mind, we each need to co-operate with something beyond ourselves. I would suggest this is the light of wisdom and warmth of love that comes from our Divine Source.

    Copyright 2016 Stephen Russell-Lacy
    Author of  Heart, Head & Hands  Swedenborg’s perspective on emotional problems

    Posted on29th October 2016CategoriesLatest post, Meaning of life, Spiritual meaningTags, , , , , , ,, , , ,

    Scripture – Is it uncivilised dogma?

    scriptureOn the face of it, much of the Bible and Qu’ran is dogmatic and sometimes unintelligible. Scripture contains scientific misconceptions. Also it has outmoded rules of living for example about food consumption and animal sacrifices.

    There are references to historical events that seem unrelated to being alive today. One also notices all sorts of horrible things. In parts of the Bible, we can find a punitive deity and barbaric acts of inhumanity .

    So, you might wonder what kind of divine authorship is supposed to be behind this scripture?

    Myth in scripture

    scriptureOne point of view is that just because a book is old it doesn’t have to be outdated. Philosophers read Aristotle and Plato and find lots of contemporary human interest in them. There’s no reason why the moral insights of religious texts like the general commands about honouring one’s parents, not killing, or not stealing should be any different. The so-called Golden Rule is that you should treat others as you want to be treated yourself. This you find in all sorts of religious texts. You see versions of that in Aristotle.

    For many people the creation story in Genesis is a myth. But I would like to suggest that the word myth should not be understood as meaning something that is not true. Doesn’t a myth convey something of a deeper truth about the human condition – something not supposed to be taken literally?

    One can likewise wonder whether there is also wisdom beneath the surface of other parts of scripture: – its historical narrative, visionary material, prophecy, and poetry. If present, it has usually remained hidden to many.

    Attitude to reading scripture

    My own experience is that when I have try to focus my mind on a text and slowly reflect on its possible meaning, only then can I start to sense a deeper message. I feel a personal relevance.

    The truth that what you will find in the text depends on your commitment you show to the text, why you’re reading it and what you want to find in it.” (Anonymous teacher of Judaism – British Library website)

    A danger lurks here. I can find myself proudly claiming I now know what scripture says and I want to tell others what to think.

    “Our understanding of God’s word will be fallible because we are finite beings. It is arrogant to raise our interpretation to infallible truth and thus start to deny the truth that other people hold in their interpretation.” (anonymous Muslim speaker – British Library website)

    If there is a God – an infinite Being beyond full human understanding – then a bit of humility from me is called for. Perhaps I have only partly had a glimmer of the truth and what is true for me works a little differently for you.

    Spiritual Teaching

    Mind you, I’m not saying scripture is the only source of wisdom. We value what we have learned from parents and teachers who have been part of our upbringing and education. They can convey deep guiding principles. For example the ideas that:

    • A realm of consciousness of spirit exists that is not limited by space or time.
    • There is a divine spark of love present with us which is the source and foundation of all reality.
    • The improvement of one’s moral character is the biggest aim of one’s human existence.

    I feel these ideas help me to find some sense in scripture.

    Nasty side of scripture

    The Old Testament prophets are good at threatening punishments of the people. Applied to myself, I feel these to be a warning about the troubles I can bring on myself if I were to stray from the right path in life.

    The people of Israel fought gory battles against various tribes living in the land of Canaan. I wonder whether these battles are symbolic of the inner conflicts within myself in my daily life. Generally speaking, there is a clash between a selfish thought and considering the needs of someone near me.

    What about animal sacrifices urged upon the people of the Old Testament? To my mind these mirror the things I need to give up, or at least cut down. What seems like a personal sacrifice at the time however can later become something of no matter.

    Correspondence and scripture

    There is one big idea I find useful in understanding sacred writing. This is the concept of correspondence.  The philosopher Emanuel Swedenborg wrote about a deeper level of meaning within the literal sense of scripture. Each object, person, and event depicted in scripture is said to correspond to this spiritual sense. Sometimes this is clear but often it is hidden. One has to employ one’s deeper perception to notice it.

     “The spiritual sense …  does not appear in the sense of the Letter: it is within it, as the soul is in the body, as the thought is in the eyes, and as affection is in the countenance. ” (Emanuel Swedenborg, philosopher)

    Enlightenment and scripture

    Some religious believers say one shouldn’t criticise sacred writing but should take it as final authority. However, there is another attitude to scripture which I think is a little bit different. It is one that does involve a questioning and searching attitude. Such an approach involves reflection and a sense of responsibility for applying what is learned.

    According to Swedenborg enlightened people are :

    Those who love truths because they are truths, and who apply them to the uses of life.”

    Conclusion about scripture

    In Hinduism and Buddhism there isn’t the same tradition, as in the Western world, of an infallibility of one particular religious text. Rather, believers draw upon a whole body and collection of spiritual writing. They use these in order to understand their religion better.

    I feel no individual writers of scripture of themselves could have infallibly grasped what is eternally true. After all they were only finite human beings. Nevertheless, I do sense a divine inspiration in their writing that has universal application.  Could they not have been instrumental in revealing the wisdom of an infinite loving Being? A message that is the Word of God?

    I would suggest there is only one way for you to answer this question to your own satisfaction. Why not try to read parts of scripture you have never visited,  and look for what you had never previously suspected was present?     

    Copyright 2016 Stephen Russell-Lacy
    Author of  Heart, Head & Hands  Swedenborg’s perspective on emotional problems

     

    Chapter XII. The Mind as the Two Kingdoms.

    THE whole spiritual or internal mind is here presented in two degrees, the celestial and the spiritual. When by regeneration these two degrees are opened in man and stored with good and truth from the LORD, they answer to the two kingdoms, celestial and spiritual, into which the whole heaven is divided.

    When the degrees of the spiritual mind are so opened and stored, then also the two degrees of the natural mind are cleansed of evil and falsity and replenished with good and truth of a lower degree, and form an orderly and correspondent base for the two kingdoms of the internal mind.

    Every regenerate man is in one kingdom or the other according to his state of regeneration.

    In the internal mind reside love to the LORD and love to the neighbor, and these heavenly loves ought to rule and qualify the loves of self and of the world located in the external mind. With the regenerate they do rule and impart a good and true quality to these natural loves.

    But if the natural loves rebel and throw off the dominion of the higher, as with the wicked, they become evil, pervert the external mind, and close up the internal. This state of the external is called hell.

    This diagram presents also a view of the two kingdoms of hell opposite to the two kingdoms of heaven. The satanic kingdom lies in the plane D, the diabolic in E. (Read DLW 273, and recur to the diagram; TCR 281 end; AE 740.)

    In Last Judgment 14, the lowest hell (in the degree E and called the hell of devils), is said to be behind, because that which is lowest in the order from above down, and outmost from within out, is behind in the order from front back.

    The satans mentioned in Apocalypse Revealed 97, 550 and 841 are in the degree D, the devils in E.

    There is no discrepancy between the statement in one passage that devil is evil and thence falsity, and in another that devil is the love of self and of dominion thence. In one passage satan means falsity or the love of falsity and the evil thence, in another it means the love of the world, and thence the love of possessing the goods of others, in still another pride of intellect and of self-derived intelligence. A similar variety of statements occurs in regard to heavenly principles. It is said that the celestial principle or kingdom in heaven is love of good and thence of truth, and is love to the LORD and thence love to the neighbor; and that the spiritual kingdom is truth and thence good, or love of the neighbor and thence of the LORD. The good of the spiritual kingdom is intellectual good because the good there is from truth reduced to practice, thus truth which is intellectual is the essence of that good. Concerning the spiritual kingdom we read, –

    “The angels of the second heaven are in spiritual love. Spiritual love is the love of truth, and in the supreme sense the love of Divine Truth which proceeds from the LORD, thus also love to the LORD but in an inferior degree to that in which are the celestial angels, for the celestials are in love to the LORD from the reception of Divine Good from Him; whereas the spiritual angels are in love to the LORD from the reception of Divine Truth from Him; the difference is as between love in the will and love in the understanding, or, as between flame and. its light.”- AE 831

    The meaning in this passage is not that the spirituals have not will but that their will of good is formed by truth and is therefore intellectual. Inversely among the satans evil is the evil of falsity and is therefore intellectual, and inheres in the love of the world as a final end. Evil arising primarily in the will is voluntary and is the evil inhering in love of self as a final end; this is the ruling love among the devils.

    This diagram illustrates True Christian Religion TCR 234, 235 and 236 and like passages throughout the Writings in which the angels are considered in two kingdoms and men in the natural degree below. The celestial angels are in B, the spiritual in C. In B is the celestial sense of the Word; the spiritual sense in C. The natural sense is in D, E, F, which together constitute the natural kingdom mentioned in 236. The higher celestial part of the natural sense is in D and the higher spiritual part in E; the merely literal sense, including the lowest spiritual and celestial element, is in F and answers to the life of the natural body.

    The celestial degree and kingdom of the internal mind, is the primal abode of celestial perception, the spiritual degree that of conscience.

    Perception and conscience flow thence into the natural mind, gifting it with natural perception which is celestial, and natural conscience which is spiritual.

    Heaven is a mirror image of God’s Love

     

    The topic of heaven and its topological description is closely connected to neuroscience and the mind/brain problem.

    Modern neuroscience has discovered that every part of the human anatomy has reference to some specific part of the brain and its grouping of neurons. They suspect that in some similar manner, the physical parts of the brain are correlated to specific functions of the non-physical mind.

    Emanuel Swedenborg, who is the father of the neuron theory of the brain, made comparable statements in his scientific writings, but took these ideas much, much further in his theological works. In his multi-level cognitive model, brain states not only have correlation with mental states but that every affection and idea of the human mind has reference to a specific society and spiritual function in heaven (or hell). And finally, every society in heaven has reference and correlation to some aspect and quality of God’s Divine Love and Wisdom.

    This causal nexus has eternal consequences.

    Every time we think and feel, it resonates with some society of spirits or angels in the other world. The mind is non-physical and represents the operation of our spirit. This spiritual operation consists purely of the various affections, dispositions and intentions of our heart (will), which find form in our thoughts and ideas (thought gives form to the affection and intention).

    Affections, emotional moods, intentions, appetites, and dispositions are all derivatives of love. Everyone’s love is different. In fact, the qualities of the human heart and its resulting thoughts can be organized into genera, species, and varieties.

    Heaven gets its organization from these genera, species, and varieties of love (which represent our receptivity to some quality and influence of God’s Love).

    Heaven is not the same for everybody (nor is Hell). While someone on planet earth can live next door to a person with opposing likes and dislikes, this cannot apply to neighbors in the spiritual world, who form relationships and societies according to affinities.

    Heaven consists of individuals who desire to be of service to others in order to promote true happiness (rather than to seek happiness through personal gain and promotion). This is the essence of spiritual and heavenly love. Those who view this activity as servitude and seek their own betterment are removed to a society among those of similar bent.

    Happiness, of course, cannot be acquired in a society where everyone desires to be greater than others. This is what constitutes Hell.

    Swedenborg states that in the spiritual world everyone gravitates to, and creates, a society that most corresponds to one’s own quality of love. All substances and forms in heaven are holographic representations of what we love and think.

    Love is spiritual formative substance and spiritual life (and not merely a romantic notion).

    In this psycho-topological landscape of the heart and mind, we each adapt this primal substance into our appropriate environment, where everyone becomes their own genera, species and variety of love (or self-love).

    Heavenly societies are mirror (holographic) images of God’s love because they reflect and manifest some particular quality of Divine Spiritual Love. All the myriad ways we can each be of service to others is an image of God and is what creates both the special distinctness and unity of heavenly societies.

    The Lord God views heaven from a holistic and organic point of view – just as we view the human anatomy as a unified division of labor and mutual cooperation. Heaven takes on an ultimate Grand Human Form because “humanness” comes from God’s spiritual love – and from no other source.

    Because you can love and hate, you already are, as to your spirit, moving through different spiritual societies and have associations there.

    Please be mindful of that.

    Posted on June 18, 2008 by thegodguy

    This entry was posted in god, Inner growth, Life after death, love, metaphysics, psychology, Reality, religion, science, spirituality, unity and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

    Sacred things – Do they matter?

    Ordinary life is filled with cares and concerns. We each get taken up with earning a living, the needs of our family, the problems of where we live or whatever. Don’t you sometimes yearn to re-discover a sense of balance and composure? Many people do this by re-connecting with a magical place where they have experienced a special moment. A place they have come to regard as sacred.

    The word ‘sacred’

    The word ‘sacred’ is a religious word. Whether you are a member of a faith tradition or none, any place can be seen as sacred if it is especially important to you. One person’s religion may be another’s superstition or folk belief, eg good-luck charms or religious relics may be imbued by some with mystical powers.

    According to spiritual philosopher Emanuel Swedenborg, in the distant past, ancient people would be reminded of inward human qualities by physical things e.g. a heart – representing love; a snake – sensory pleasure; a sword – integrity in fighting for what is right. But in the course of time, he says, this symbolic knowledge was lost. Later generations mistakenly assumed there was supposed to be something inherently holy in such things and thus began to superstitiously revere them as idols.

    What is sacred

    What you regard as sacred doesn’t have to be what you have you been told by others but what you experience within. It is a very personal matter. It might not be a place at all but rather an activity, an object or even an idea.

    “What is sacred can refer to something that one cherishes, that is precious” (Rick Hanson, neuropsychologist)

    sacredPerhaps it is something you respect that is so different from what is ordinary & mundane that it is beyond language to describe. This might be because it makes you feel safe. Or perhaps it reminds you of your deeper values. Or perhaps it inspires a sense of wonder and awe that touched your soul. And so you want to keep whatever it is unspoilt and pure.

    Sacred activity

    What is a blessing to you might be a walk in the woods that you love. It could be meditating – there is a sacred space in the mindful moment. Maybe its when listening to that special piece of music or reading that favourite book that deeply affects you.

    Some say you know what it is when you feel connected with a sense of what is profoundly good and wise.

    “Whether we’re religious or not, a prayer is the acknowledgment of something greater than ourselves. It is a ritual that allows us to create space for hope even in the tiniest prison, including the prison of our mind.” (Tim Leberecht, spiritual writer)

    Sacred ideas

    What is revered by you might simply be an idea that you value and regard as precious; for example a specific thing that reminds you of the principle of honesty with your life partner, the innocence of childhood, your sense of vocation, or the value of social justice. When you recall the idea, it stands apart in its significance for you giving a renewed sense of purpose and hope.

    Why we need something sacred

    Don’t we all need to get in touch with something, in our heart of hearts, that is really dear to us and worth dedicating ourselves to? Something that goes beyond the self and that is very real and powerful, pure and good. Imagine a life in which nothing was consecrated for you – or to anyone else. To me, such a life would be empty and sterile.

    Responding to the sacred

    Whatever it is that you feel is worthy of veneration why not return to it? You can then get to know what it is like to be touched by it. I happen to believe that by setting aside a little time to do this, on a regular basis, you can be taken away from your ordinary concerns so that your mood and mind is lifted to a higher plane.
    I really believe there is something divine in everything if you want to find it. Whether it’s in the smile of a child, the handshake of a stranger, the sound of birdsong, or the newly opening buds of a snowdrop.

    Copyright 2016 Stephen Russell-Lacy
    Author Heart, Head & Hands