Higher Meaning

 

Home Activities Papers Think Tank Bulletin Contact Us Other Links

 

 Welcome to

Home Activities Papers Think Tank Bulletin Contact Us Other Links
INTRODUCTION
to Higher Meaning web site.

What do we mean by “higher meaning”?

Symbols (such as words or phrases) are meaningless without some association with contexts (such as definitions). The contexts give the symbol its meaning.   A word can be used in a number of contexts that correspond to its obvious, literal sense.

How “high” a meaning is depends on the importance, or value, of its context.    In order to measure the relative height of corresponding meanings we need to agree upon a value scale.  Of course that is impossible. Not everyone can agree on what is of most value.  However, we can be more objective if we take a global view and consider what is most important to the welfare of the largest number of people. Better yet, let’s take a cosmic view.  The Creator of heaven and earth set the values by creating a universal heaven composed of angelic humans from all globes.

The context values thus proposed in descending order of height are as follows:

o     God in the highest.
o     Next, that which relates to conjunction with Him in heavenly love.
o     Then that which relates to His angels in mutual love.
o     That which relates to human society in the spiritual world.
o     That which relates to human society in the natural world .
o     That which relates to the human mind and those who develop it.
o     That which relates to the human body and to those who stay bound to it.

What do we mean by “correspondence”?

     The term “correspondence” of two symbolic meanings is used frequently in this Higher Meaning web site and generally refers to the mutual symmetry, harmony, correlation, and communication of the symbolic contexts.  For more discussion on definitions of correspondence please see the following:

o     Emanuel Swedenborg, Teachings about Correspondences,  from The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine Index.
o     ANC Anthology, Bringing Correspondences Into the Curriculum, under the subtopic of DEFINITIONS of correspondence.
o     Browse the Papers button on the navigation bar.  All the books and essays have some reference to correspondence(s).  That web page also has a search engine.

http://www.highermeaning.org/

 

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

 

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

 

Colour – Why does it affect us?

People vary as to their awareness of colour around them. When my wife and I moved house, she surprised me by stating she couldn’t sit in our lounge because of its green furniture and purple coloured walls. I’m probably a bit unusual but, beyond my initial impression, I hadn’t really noticed. However, I must admit, after the walls had been repainted cream, I appreciated the improvement. As interior designers know, different colour schemes have their effect on people. The field of colour psychology attempts to identify the effects of colour on human emotion and activity. So why does colour affect us the way it does?

Colour association

colourWarm colours are made with orange, red, yellow and combinations of them all. Used in interior design or fashion, a warm colour is said to arouse or stimulate the feelings of the viewer. A cool colour such as blue, green and light purple is thought to have the ability to calm and soothe.

Modern surveys in the United States and Europe show red is the colour most commonly associated with strong feeling.

To “see red” is to be angry or aggressive. To “have red ears / a red face” is to be embarrassed. To “paint the town red” is to enjoy the feeling of pleasure, usually with a generous amount of eating, drinking, dancing. To show “a red rag to a bull” is to cause someone to be enraged.

Esotericism and colour

According to science, the pure colours gained from the light spectrum form a continuous range of hue. The number of colours that the human eye is able to distinguish in a spectrum is in the order of 100. The apparent discreteness of a few main colours is due to human perception. This subjective human experience of discrete colours suggests there is a deeper process at work than mere physics.

Some would argue that the significance of colour is part of a higher degree of reality. This esoteric view is expressed by the well known maxim ‘As above, so below‘ which derives from the following ancient text:

“That which is Below corresponds to that which is Above, and that which is Above corresponds to that which is Below, to accomplish the miracle of the One Thing.” (Hermes Trismegistus, pagan prophet)

One way of thinking about above and below is to consider the higher and low mind – the higher principles of life and the base emotions. Many people are open to a spiritual dimension to existence and are awake to phenomena that go beyond what the body notices. They perceive and respond to the enlightening experiences of the higher mind. However the worldly-minded materialist will only see life in terms of the physical and natural side of life.

Although many have an intuition that a colour they see relates in some way to something of spirit, they do not consciously understand what it represents. To learn about this it helps to consider more about the higher and lower mind.

Colour and planes of mind

Natural emotions of the lower mind it is argued arise from an independent sense of selfhood – a self-orientated attitude to life in which the person is prone to emotions of embarrassment, fear and anger. In contrast, spiritual feelings may arise from an awareness of a one higher divine reality – emotions for example of joy, guilt, and trust.

In line with this point of view, how a specific colour affects us will depend on what part of our mind is engaged at the time. I have already pointed out that the colour red for example appears to be associated with strong feeling. But the passions of the lower mind are different from those of the higher mind. It is thought that the former come from self-orientated feelings e.g. self-consciousness, conceit, greed etc: the latter are ethical feelings of care and concern for others and the community. The former can be seen as natural whereas the latter as spiritual.

Colour and correspondence

Emanuel Swedenborg, 18th century spiritual philosopher, writes that there is a correspondence between things on different levels of reality. When he noticed something like a colour, he was alive to what deeper qualities this might universally mirror and reflect. He would say there is a consistent way in which each colour has an inner significance. For him the effect of different colours derive from their correspondence with aspects of the one divine source of Love and Wisdom.

He emphasises the two colours of red and white as the pure representation of the good of love and the truth of wisdom. So if there is some love and light shown in our actions i.e. when we are not just self-orientated, some variation of the colours red and white can be relevant.

Because of this Swedenborg says that colour can be of significance in the world around us and in sacred writing.

The colour white

colourThere is more than a hint of this when one looks at the way culture deals with white. According to surveys in Europe and the United States, white is the colour most often associated with innocence, perfection, purity, honesty, and cleanliness i.e. qualities to do with what is true, e.g. to whitewash something is to conceal an unpleasant reality and a white lie is an innocent lie told out of politeness.

Black is the opposite of white. If white corresponds to what is perfect and true so black would signify what is imperfect and false. In western popular culture, black has long been associated with evil and darkness. A blacklist is a list of undesirable people or entities; the black sheep of the family is the ne’er-do-well and black propaganda is the use of known falsehoods, or partial truths to confuse an opponent.

Colour in the spiritual world

Swedenborg also says that the colours seen by people who are conscious in the after life of spirit depend on their inner state of mind and character. The sphere of an individual is due to what good of love and truth of wisdom are reflected in that person’s character – their degree of virtue. He reports that in the spiritual world this determines the colours seen as an aura around a person where inner states of heart and mind are represented visually. Colour is something simple and yet profound.

Copyright 2015 Stephen Russell-Lacy

Author Heart, Head & Hands

Ancient Knowledge: Lost & Found?

Ancient people had knowledge that was lost and this is fairly obvious to most people. We only need to look at the Egyptian pyramids, Mayan pyramids, Stonehenge etc. to become aware of this. If you have an open mind in my view you can easily find out how this knowledge has been rediscovered and recorded in the writings of Emanuel Swedenborg. My challenge is that you look for yourself at what he claims.

Swedenborg maintains that there is an ancient science which eclipses all natural sciences and this has been recorded throughout ancient history in the form of what we call symbolism. He calls this symbolism “the language of correspondences” (a correspondence is defined as the Divine reflected in nature.) Further; he has presented in his writings what I believe to be the very keys to opening this ancient language of correspondences.  He also points to the idea that much of this symbolism remains with us today but we have simply lost the ability to read it. Kings and Queens wear crowns and symbolic garments, ministers and priests have garments and rituals, judges and lawyers wear funny wigs and gowns and many other surviving ancient organisations have initiation ceremonies loaded with symbolism. But who knows what they all mean? No one does, because the knowledge of what they represent has been lost. But this day I offer you the proposal it has been revealed to us once again!

Let me give just one example here to get you started. We know there are two kinds of sight. One is the physical eye, the other is the eye of the understanding; and we are very much aware of this. Why else would we say “I see what you mean” or “Isn’t she bright” or “let me shed some light on the subject so you can see it more clearly”. If we did not have inner eyes, which correspond with our physical eyes, why would we say these things? It is the same with the light we shed on the problem. It’s not physical light because it lights up our understanding. So it corresponds to physical light.

In fact, Swedenborg claims that everything that exists in the outer world is a correspondence of something within and this is the ancient knowledge that was lost – the science of correspondences – but is now to be rediscovered. Why not consider seeking it out for yourself and feeling free to come back and commenting/questioning here if you want to?

Copyright 2011 Jack Dunion

Posted on23rd June 2011CategoriesMeaning of life, SymbolismTags, , , , , , , , ,

Astrology – Mumbo jumbo or ancient wisdom?

AstrologyAstrology is an important part of popular Western culture. Just browse  through some general magazines and newspapers to see that. People often go along with the notion that the position and movements of the planets, against the backdrop of the night sky, tells them something about their personal lives. For many, a horoscope, based on their individual time of birth, might explain aspects of their personality and even predict significant events.

In astrology, each planet exercises a particular influence by its position and its aspects with respect to other planets. Astrologists give psychological distinctions to the various planets ruling over the 12 signs of the Zodiac. They say that some of these planets benefit us more than others. Yet, the position and motions of the stars and planets affect people by no scientifically understood mechanism of action.

Unfortunately, most horoscopes you see in the media only make vague untestable statements that can apply to almost anyone. On the other hand, astrologists do give individuals discriminating profiles and these have been examined in controlled experiments. But, these consistently correlate with personality, measured by other means, at a rate no higher than chance.

Sceptics say believers in astrology tend to selectively remember predictions that turn out to be true and do not remember those that turnout false. They further claim that astrological theory often shows poor reasoning and astrologists disagree among themselves.

All this doesn’t seem to matter to those many followers who do not claim astrology is a science with predictive power. Instead, they seem to want astrology to help them understand their personal lives in a way that transcends science.

So what is a fair-minded rational person to make of astrology? Has it something useful to offer even it cannot be called a science?

Night sky as symbolism

What interests me about astrology is its symbolism. I wonder whether it can  illuminate something, about the various states of mind, we experience in our life’s spiritual journey. I am attracted to the idea that there is a correspondence of natural objects in the universe – such as stars and planets – with positive and negative states of human consciousness. The most general idea behind this is expressed in the Emerald Tablet as “as above, so below”.

“Although the concept of correspondences bears some relationship to analogy, metaphor, and symbolism, it goes far beyond that. What the ancients had was not merely the observation that the human mind can use something concrete as a stand-in for something abstract. It was an understanding that everything in the universe embodies something spiritual” (Jonathan Rose)

I would suggest the natural universe mirrors both positive and negative human states of mind. For example in the world of nature on our planet we find both gentle and fierce creatures, destructive earthquakes and beautiful geographical scenes. If so, it is not a big step to say that the qualities and positions of the planets also have some correspondence with human psychology. Therefore, I would suggest the planets do not directly influence us as such but rather mirror our inner states of consciousness.

For me, this symbolism can for example be seen in the sign of Aries the Ram.

Aries the Ram

In their book ‘Twelve Qualities of a Spiritual Mind‘, Harry Barnitz and Dawn Barnitz Potts point out that the sun enters Aries at the spring equinox. And so Aries initiates the season of spring, the warmth of new light, the beginning of the year in ancient times. There is a renewed awareness of being alive and a trust in the sustaining source of light and warmth. This reminds us of the life-sustaining power of love and light present in our minds. A new vision and inspiration. A state of mind awakening to something beyond the material. An intuition which is experienced on a regular cycle throughout life – each time felt on a deeper level.

astrologyThe ram symbolises this quality of innocent trust in life.  Astrologers claim that people born under the sign of Aries the Ram are visionary and creative innovators with an active imagination and deeply perceptive mind.

This initial state of spiritual awakening still has with it much of egoism. The ram also has connotations of aggression. Shepherds know that while sheep are generally a docile animal, this is not usually the case with rams, especially during the breeding season. Rams can be very aggressive and have been known to cause serious injuries.

And so astrologers say that those born under the sign of Aries the Ram, because of the ego-mind, are also likely to be fiery, and violent because of the planet Mars which is said to rule over this first sign.

If the positive and the negative go together then it is not surprising to find a visionary awareness of and innocent trust in a spiritually sustaining source. Also it is not surprising to find the opposite illusions derived from a proud and aggressive self-reliance.

My feelings about astrology

Astrology says the planetary configuration, at the time of our birth, mirrors our individual natural disposition and quality of feeling. This fits in with the idea that we each have a unique potential. The notion that each one of us can have a distinctive and useful function in the grand scheme of things.

I suspect that astrology has a fair bit to offer in terms of spiritual guidance along these lines. By coming to understand what feelings and desires are leading the choices we make in our daily life, we can begin to see a path before us away from the things of ego-mind.

Distortion of ancient wisdom over the ages

According to Emanuel Swedenborg, many thousands of years ago people knew the real meaning of the correspondence between the natural and spiritual. However, in the process of time, this ancient wisdom was distorted. Spiritual knowledge was turned into things like witchcraft and fortune-telling. However, it may be true that that there are still glimpses of ancient truths in the customs, fables, writings and religions of all lands. I wonder if this is also the case for some things said by astrology about the Zodiac signs and their relationship to the higher life of the spirit?

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

 Posted on17th September 2016CategoriesLatest post, Meaning of life, SymbolismTags, , , ,

Why am I not healed?

Conventional modern medicine has made great strides, the main progress having been focussed on specially formulated chemical substances and sophisticated surgical
techniques with their high-tech electronic aids.

This has led to some truly amazing advances, but it has also resulted in specialisation and an approach to the whole subject of ‘health and wholeness’ which has been increasingly concerned with the ‘point of pain’ rather than the ‘person in pain’. This can result in the treatment of symptoms whilst an underlying cause may go undetected.

The person in pain

The human spirit that thinks, feels and experiences is neither chemical nor
computerised, but a living consciousness with non-physical (as well as
physical) dimensions. The realisation that beauty is more than skin deep is
equally true of health. The whole person is more than the outer physical shell.
There is increasing reason to question the underlying conviction of
conventional medicine that ultimately all disorders have a physical cause that
can be treated by surgery or chemistry.

Emanuel Swedenborg maintained that there is an intimate relationship between the human spirit and the human body; between the spiritual plane and the natural plane of
life. The spiritual plane is the plane of causes; the natural that of effects.
For anything to come into being it will have a spiritual origin. In the case of
diseases this can be due to a spiritual condition within ourselves or the
spiritual environment around us, or a combination of both. This is not to say
that it is all in the mind; very far from it.

A magnificent cathedral is not only in the mind, but its origin was in the mind. Its bricks and stones are a natural expression of those who built it; their sense of a sacred space – a
deeply felt spiritual reality of feeling, thought and imagination. If this is true of the buildings we inhabit, is it not very probable that it is equally true of the bodies we live in – the temple of the human soul?

To change a house to suit our needs requires thought and imagination as well as the right materials. It is surely reasonable to expect that both physical and spiritual action are needed to complement each other in health care too.

 Inner and outer health

Emanuel Swedenborg, writing during the time of the early beginnings of conventional
medicine, whilst accepting it has value, points to deeper spiritual causes:

“Things existing in the natural world are nothing else than effects; their causes exist
in the spiritual world. … If the natural part of a person’s being were
separated from the spiritual part it would be separated from the entire cause
from which it has its being and so from all that brings it life. Even so, this
does not make it impossible for a person to be healed by natural remedies, for
the Lord’s providence works in co-operation with means such as these.”
(Arcana Coelestia sections 5711, 5713)

For some, the priority is physical health, with health and wholeness of spirit,
whilst acknowledged as important, seen as of lesser importance. Swedenborg
takes a very different view. He looks at the larger perspective of life that
only has its early beginnings on the earth-plane of existence. He seeks to show
us the over-riding importance of the health and wholeness of the spirit or soul
which lives on long after our bodily outer shell.

Divine Providence, he maintains, is concerned with our physical health, but this is of secondary importance compared with the inner needs of the heart, mind and life itself
which are not material at all, but spiritual.

The placebo effect

Modern medicine well recognises that disease, stress and anxiety are significant
health risks, and the list of ‘stress-related’ illnesses includes digestive,
coronary and cancerous conditions. Too often, however, the positive placebo
effect, where recovery takes place through faith in the treatment, even if
phoney, is simply seen as something to eliminate in a clinical trial. With
notable exceptions few have looked at this as a means of healing, when it is unquestionably
powerful in its potential effect.

In looking to use and understand this ‘effect’, a constantly recurring theme in
Swedenborg’s writings needs to be reconsidered. He maintains there is a
corresponding link between spiritual and natural levels of being. Many
recognise that effects emanating from our inner state, very similar to the
placebo effect, work in a variety of ways on our health.

Consider how the ‘spiritual pollution’ of personality caused by unresolved conflicts, worry,
hatred, envy and grief undermines not just spiritual well-being but, in time, physical health also. On the positive side few deny the effects of love, humility, forgiveness, peace and prayer in the promotion of health at all levels of our being. It is high time we accepted the challenge to outgrow the myth that our state of health is no more than the state of of the molecules of which the body is composed, and face the importance of developing inner health and wholeness. Diet has its place, but so does devotion, faith and forgiveness.
It is not a case of ‘either/or’ but the holistic ‘both/and’ that accepts and affirms the spiritual dimension in healing.

Those who are not healed

To penetrate the problem of those who ‘do the right things’ yet still do find
healing, whilst others do, we need Swedenborg’s clearer understanding of
underlying causes, and the relationship between inner and outer, between
spiritual and material. Spiritual growth and the unfolding of the real meaning
of our lives involves light and dark, good and bad, health and dis-ease.

All our experiences serve a use and for the many who cry ‘why me’ there are a few,
who like the Christ, say ‘why not me’. Whilst Swedenborg does not maintain
‘these things are sent to try us’, he is clear that they are only permitted if
it is possible for some eternal benefit to our spiritual health to result.

Copyright 2012 Clifford Curry

Posted on4th August 2012CategoriesMeaning of life, SufferingTags,, , , , , , , , ,