The Ultra, Ultra Miracle Of Life

Scientists are truly astonished that the laws of nature are bio-friendly—fine-tuned to allow for the emergence of life. When one considers that life has evolved in complexity to give us the human brain and personal-level experience (consciousness) things get even more astonishing.

While many scientists see an “apparent” intelligent direction in evolution, this direction is not deemed purposeful or designed. Rather, this is all the result of the contingency of random or chance mutations. Life is the result of a cosmic throw of the dice. Ironically, this cosmic crapshoot allows entities to appear with functions that express a mastery of science (which humans and their brains do not possess).

Furthermore, when you take into account that nature seems to display an incessant compulsion for self-organization, one can only assume that the dice are loaded.

In spite of modern science’s reluctance to embrace purposeful design, every organic process and structure serves a distinct purpose. Why is this significant? Well, science knows that anything put into motion seeks out its equilibrium. The miracle of life is that myriads of distinct actions are set in motion, yet all seek a common equilibrium! Every process and organic function must be coordinated and subordinated according to successive and simultaneous order.

This coordinated distribution of action is a bit much to ask of merely gravitating matter. Matter is not smart enough to orchestrate such a cooperative effort, whereby things gain distinction through togetherness.

Now fast-forward to the evolution of the human race. Here, a similar principle seems to apply. Individuals in society gain distinction from their selfless service to the common good of others.

Hmmm?

Even quantum physics is offering clues that existence is relationship and that matter is not the fundamental “stuff” of the universe. What is fundamental in nature is now seen by scientists as the “tendency to exist.” This tendency emerges from a non-spatial and non-temporal realm.

Hmmm? What possible non-physical dynamic could be represented by a “disposition” that endeavored to take concrete form through relationship and cooperation?

The answer is LOVE.

The essence of love is to unite. Love is psychical—a disposition of mind—and therefore a non-physical principle of agency.

Love is God.

This is just a small taste of the issues I will be tackling in my upcoming book, Proving God. My strategy is to put naturalism on its head, and show how time and space, plus all law and force in the universe, emerged from love’s dynamical nature.

In God’s universe, Love is not simply a passion or lively enthusiasm. Love is the ultimate science.

Posted on November 13, 2008by thegodguy

Posted in god, love, metaphysics, psychology, Reality, religion, science, spirituality, unity | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Angels and Non-Physical Complexity

 

There are those who maintain that angels are a unique creation and are distinct from the human race. This needs to be given further thought, not just from what our faith teaches, but pondered with some scientific reasoning thrown in.

An interesting new science that is moving into the forefront of research deals with complexity—the emergence of complicated systems in nature. Complexity finds its ultimate expression in the structure of the human brain.

It is a big mystery to science why nature shows an incessant striving towards self-organization and complexity. Naturalism, which does not believe in a divine author, sees complexity as coming into existence from simple molecules, which in turn came from more simple fundamental particles, like atoms and quarks. This is called scientific reductionism.

Physicist David Bohm was one of the first to challenge the idea that things get simpler the deeper you probe nature. His version of quantum physics theorizes that elementary particles become increasingly more complex, and contain subtle inner structure. This would suggest that large systems acquire their complexity from prior or implicate orders of reality.

I find Bohm’s position suitable for theology. If God existed before the creation of the physical world, it would mean that infinite complexity was already established and functioning in a pre-space condition. Since God is infinitely alive, bio-structure started from infinite perfection and always existed.

It is easier to envision God as Infinite Love and Infinite Wisdom than equating these divine attributes to a corresponding level of bio-complexity. Furthermore, how does God’s ineffable organic structure exist abstracted from space, time, and matter?

Scientist/theologian Emanuel Swedenborg has offered the best explanation I have yet to come across. He claimed that fundamental substance was non-physical. Even more startling, this primal formative substance was LOVE, the causal agent and first principle of the universe. Love was God’s living substance and Wisdom was the Divine embodiment, or form love takes in all its expressions.

Therefore, complexity in the physical world emerged out of complexity from a non-physical world. That LOVE is the key to agency in the universe is evidenced by nature’s ongoing endeavor towards self-organization. With organization comes unity through utility. Unity through structure is an analog of love, because the very essence of love is to unite. Everything finds coherence by mutually serving some unifying purpose. This is unity through utility. Utility is also a derivative of love. It is a physical analog of goodness.

So what does all this have to do with angels? Angels are finite beings. Therefore, in spite of all their good will, their ideas are finite as well. Finite ideas cannot be formed outside of time and space (which is a problem in heaven).

All finite reasoning must come from ideas formed from living in a world of time and space. Living in a physical world allows a finite mind to detect distances and ratios between things and distinguish the past from the present. This is why Swedenborg maintained that all angelic beings were once a part of the human race.

God’s purpose in creation was to form a heaven from the human race. Of all earth’s creatures, humans have carved out a niche as an information-gatherer. We each take this information and internalize it. That is, we take ideas from the physical world and turn it into “us” through our subjective preferences and dispositions. If love is primal creative substance, then the values we choose in life will self-organize into the bio-complexity that reflects our true spirit or innermost life.

Without living in a physical world first, where there is time and space, angels would have had no lawful means for forming mental relationships and making distinctions. From learning physical relationships, the mind can then form ideas about non-physical relationships. For instance, a person who shares different values and opinions from ours becomes psychologically viewed as being “far” from us (no matter how physically close he or she may be). It is this change from physical standards of measurement to psycho-spiritual measurement that is needed for angels to discern relationships in the non-physical realm of heaven.

So, in God’s providential and ultimate scheme, when we depart from our physical bodies at the time of death, we will still retain our spiritual bio-complexity. This provides us with the proper organic vehicle to take our acquired ability to discern non-spatial and non-physical relationships with us into the other world.

I have left out many things that relate to this subject. Not everyone’s spiritual bio-complexity is properly formed for eternal life in heaven. I will touch on some of these additional topics in other posts and more completely in my next book, Proving God. I will announce on this blog when the book will be available.

Posted on September 20, 2008 by thegodguy

http://www.provinggod.com

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The New Physics and the New Jerusalem

 

My experience over the past several years with both physicists and theologians who are concerned with fundamentals is that I detect a real sense of anxiety. Both “sides” strongly believe that we are in need of a major paradigm shift.

The issue is unity.

Contemporary physicists, unable to unify the two pillars of modern physics—relativity theory and quantum theory—feel that a more adequate reformulation of these concepts still needs to be achieved. The universe cannot be based on two theories that do not mesh.

Similarly, contemporary theologians are acknowledging that a fresh approach to the doctrine of Scripture is needed to make its interpretation more inclusive and perpetually relevant to all faith-seekers, in all periods of human history, including the future. Religion, which has roots in the Latin word for ligament (ligare), meaning to bind and bring together, has unfortunately had an opposite effect all throughout history.

These problems become unimaginably intensified for those pioneering and rare individuals who are seriously attempting to unify the truth claims of both science and religion. It is useless to unify inadequate theology with inadequate scientific theory.

Humans will not find solutions to these difficult problems by means of academia and scholarship. The final answers can only come from the Lord God. Thankfully, since God wishes to share deeper knowledge about the ultimate reality with the human race, a divine delivery system has been set up to accomplish that very thing.

It is called the Lord’s Second Coming. And it is taking place right now.

Don’t look for earthquakes and great battles to begin. Rather, the Second Coming will be a shaking of the very foundations of our world-views. And the great battle to take place will happen within our hearts and minds over whether we should defend our old thinking or embrace the Lord’s promise to make all things “anew.” So God is promising a shake-up and overhaul of all our scientific and theological thinking.

The first Advent of the Lord was physical. The second is psychical. First we see, next, we understand.

The Lord is now revealing potent new concepts to the world. God’s guidance is required because these new ideas exist on deeper levels of meaning that are contained within the narratives of the Holy Word. The New Jerusalem will be a new church formed of individuals who are able to accept and adopt these doctrinal revelations into their faith-system.

How does this help science? Will modern science also benefit from the Second Coming?

Yes.

As these deeper levels of meaning in Scripture are revealed to us we will be able to gain an intelligible idea of how everything in the universe and its laws emerged from patterning principles hidden within the architecture of the Holy Word (John, 1:1-3).

I have had access to these new ideas (a new dispensation from the Lord) for almost 35 years. I can attest to the potency of these revelations because they have allowed me to write a book that will address such challenging issues as the nexus between the Infinite and the finite, resolve the problem of the Big Bang singularity, the emergence of spacetime and matter from nonphysical and pre-geometric (spiritual) principles, address top-down causality, offer a new theory of evolution, provide a comprehensive multi-level model of human cognitive function, explore the neural basis of religion, answer the mystery of the Neanderthals, explain the mechanism behind hypnotism, address quantum gravity, life after death, and the reality of the spiritual world.

All this will revolve around the totally unexpected idea that LOVE is ultimate formative substance and ultimate reality. In other words, a cosmological model, based on the dynamics of love, can provide us with an exact science (with real explanatory and predictive powers).

If taking the concept of love beyond its usual romantic connotation, and making it the fundamental stuff and law-giving agent of the universe, sends a shockwave through your brain, then congratulations. You have just experienced a small taste of what the “end of days” really address.

If you have been following my posts you will know how to gain access to the hottest news to come directly out of heaven.

I am sure you must have lots and lots of questions.

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2 Responses to Evolution and Religion

  1. Are you saying a spirit is a sort of embodiment of one’s thoughts?“The ultimate scheme of creation and evolution is to create angels from the human race.” Do you believe in reincarnation so that spirits can someday become perfect angels, or do you think imperfect spirits “die” into heaven and new ones are created with each baby born…in which case the perfect spirit is a Darwinian goal. My head hurts now, GodGuy!

  2. thegodguy says:

    The soul uses the mind to create a spiritual body within our physical body. Our mind, which consists of both volition and thought, is our spirit. The soul is created by God and is completely developed at our birth. But our spirit is the outcome of the values we choose in life from free will. It can mature and gain stature throughout our life. The spirit finds its embodiment from the ideas of our understanding because what we love and intend puts on form and structure from our thinking. Love adapts form (information) to its own disposition. The soul complies with the spirit to make this happen.
    The mind does not operate in space nor is it under the constraints of physical law. For instance, you can share half of your knowledge with a friend and still keep ALL of your knowledge. You can’t do this when you share half of a physical apple with a friend. In spite of the fact that the mind operates beyond space it can take on perfect human form (it is who we really are). It chews, ruminates, and digests ideas so that they will enter into the fabric of our being in the same way that our digestive system prepares terrestrial food to become the fabric of our physical bodies.
    The result of spiritual growth is non-physical bio-complexity, which Darwinian theory simply doesn’t address. Religion is God’s strategy to provide a means for humans to choose the best values so that the spiritual body can evolve properly. Heaven is not a place you go to, but is something you become.
    I do not subscribe to reincarnation. Yet, even reincarnation would be ineffective if it did not lead to a complete reconstitution of our inner being. This topic is multifaceted and is discussed in greater detail in my next book entitled “Proving God.”

Evolution and Religion

A big obstacle in unifying science with religion comes from the point of view that science deals with facts and religion deals with values. They each address quite different topics so some people feel there is no need to waste time trying to forge them together. Let them each do what they do best.

My new book project entitled “Proving God” will challenge this assumption. In my previous post I pointed out that the laws of physics somehow emerged from of a non-local and non-temporal void (that is, if you believe, like most scientists and theologians, that the universe had an actual beginning).

What is most conspicuous about the creation of the universe is that it not only entailed a distribution of energy and momentum but an ongoing process of self-organization. This organization of the cosmos continued to increase in the complexity of biosystems that ultimately led to the human brain. Whether this happened by design or chance scientists know that it is a fact that the manifest universe and organic life could not have come into existence unless the constants of nature met very tight tolerances. Did this “fine-tuning” of the universe, which allowed for the increase of intelligence and consciousness to emerge, have its origins from a creative principle operating in the pre-space void?

In the neo-Darwinian synthesis, which includes microbiology and genetics, evolution occurs from the ongoing strategies of genes to ensure reproduction under the pressures of a changing external environment. New species are the result of these survival strategies. However, the evolutionary trajectory has led to the human race, which enjoys first-person phenomenal experience. So evolution has a complex creature where values are very important.

All human values are derivatives of love. Affection, emotion, appetite, and intention all give focus to human cognitive function and steer it towards some valued goal. This is where religion enters into the picture of evolution. The human mind, which does not operate in space, can continue to develop and raise its level of complexity by adopting a more universal and noble love. What we love defines how our thoughts and ideas are put into some corresponding order and structure. In the same way that a human ear has evolved to be a subject for sound, human ideas represent the higher-ordered forms and subjects of our affections. Our thoughts and ideas are the non-material forms and bio-structure of what we love and intend. This creates our spiritual body.

Religion, which serves as a guide for choosing the optimum values for living, can therefore be looked at as a Divine strategy by which humans can extend evolution and bio-complexity into a non-physical domain. We call this realm heaven.

It is rational to think that the constancy and fine-tuning of laws in the universe is a faithful articulation of first causal principles. If the universe is self-consistent then the perfection of bio-complexity will more perfectly express the first principles of creation. Humans who raise their hearts and minds to spiritual love and its inclusiveness have successfully created a complexity of spirit that mirrors Divine Love. The ultimate scheme of creation and evolution is to create angels from the human race. This completes the dynamic and holistic process of creation emerging from an eternal non-physical reality and merging back into it. What do you think?

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Hello, serious thinkers!

God & Science

Both religion and science make truth claims about ultimate reality. For that reason there is growing interest among scientists, theologians, and laypeople to ask if science and religion can both answer the same questions about reality and have real points of interaction. I like to think of myself as part of this exciting and stimulating movement. I personally am coming to the last stages of completing the manuscript for my new book that hopefully will offer fresh ideas to this important discussion.

There are of course, landmines everywhere. For instance, in order to unify science and God one has to offer at least some rational evidence (if not empirical evidence) that God indeed exists. Next problem: what theological interpretation of religion and what scientific interpretation of quantum physics do you choose to unite? From my humble point of view, any successful encounter between the two would require that theology offer new insights to solving the perplexing issues of the New Physics, and that these solutions of science lead to a more rational approach to the deepest mysteries of faith. Since this has not happened I fully expect that an upheaval in both science and theology will be required. My book deals with this shake-up.

In the hopes of starting a dialog with open-minded and serious thinkers I would like to share with you reasons for my confidence that such a thing is possible. (Agnostics and atheists are more than welcome to participate.)

Before anyone pooh-poohs the existence of God, it is important to understand exactly where science is hitting a brick wall – its fundamental understanding of reality. Even science based on a strict materialistic philosophy is finding that nature, on her most fundamental level, is radically “weird” and resists a reductionist approach. In the invisible world of the quantum vacuum nothing physical or solid exists, there are only “tendencies to exist.” If God exists it will be in a non-local and non-temporal realm – exactly where science does not have a firm grasp on what is going on.

On the other side of the physics coin, relativity theory and the Big Bang Singularity presents us with another weird problem. Since the universe is expanding scientists assumed that if you turn time backwards the universe will shrink into an ever- decreasing radius and disappear into the void as a zero-dimensional point (essential singularity) where time and space no longer exist. Where there is no spacetime there are no physical laws either. So, if the laws of physics break down in a singularity than physics cannot explain the beginning of the universe.

Both quantum physics and the Big Bang point to a non-physical beginning (even though they do so in different ways). Therefore, the laws of physics must have their origin in an invisible, non-temporal and non-spatial realm. What non-material principles and agency made up the special initial conditions of the universe where time equaled zero (t = 0)?

It is the premise of my forthcoming book that the laws and forces of nature are actually spiritual laws and forces extended into the constraints of time and space. In other words, the various qualities of God’s Divine Love and Wisdom create all the ratios, proportions, and analogies we find in the extensiveness of the physical world.

Most physicists agree that Nature is unified. The essence of love is to unite and the essence of truth is to differentiate. Nature is the perfection of unity through difference. This is why Nature is a mirror image of God’s nature. What do you think

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PROVING GOD

 

Proving God

Swedenborg’s Remarkable Quest
For The Quantum Fingerprints Of Love

by Edward F. Sylvia, M.T.S.
with a foreword by Ian J. Thompson, Ph.D.

A daring work that unifies Science and Theology
by challenging many of the world’s current beliefs about both.

Proving God

Forget what both scientists and the clergy have told you about the ultimate reality. This extraordinary book explains how scientists have misinterpreted the laws of the physical universe and how theologians have misinterpreted the revealed wisdom of the Lord God’s Holy Word. Fasten your seatbelt and prepare yourself for the new laws of physics and the new theology that will fulfill God’s promise of making “all things new”!

978-0-9702527-1-5

432 pages | pb | illustrations | index | glossary



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will be available, send an email to books@staircasepress.com with PROVING GOD as the title. To protect your privacy,

we will NOT share your information with anyone…

Introduction
PROVING GOD:
Swedeborg’s Remarkable Quest for the Quantum Fingerprints of Love

by Edward F. Sylvia, M.T. S.                                                 
                                                                                      ©2009 Staircase Press. All Rights Reserved.

Unifying science and religion is a high-risk venture. Landmines and dangers are everywhere on both sides of the issue. Yet, the history of human exploration is full of individuals who have risked even death to find what they are seeking. The passion of the human mind and spirit is such that visionary people will always feel it is worth making the attempt to explore the unknown.

For that very reason, there is growing interest among scientists, theologians, and laypeople to explore another uncharted region and resolve whether science and religion can both answer the same questions about reality and have real points of interaction. I like to think of myself as a part of this exciting and mentally stimulating movement. This book is my contribution to this discussion.

Both religion and science make truth claims about ultimate reality. Science deals with facts and religion deals with values. Because of this, some people feel that science and religion address different issues and should be kept apart.

But, can these two powerful endeavors ultimately satisfy the human psyche by keeping them apart? Einstein said in 1941 that, “science without religion is lame, and religion without science is blind.” Religion is weak on the how of creation, and science is weak on the why. In other words, science shuns teleology or purposefulness in the universe as a legitimate category of explanation. In place of a purposeful creation, scientists embrace the concepts that fundamental reality consists of irreducible chance and that everything must be describable exclusively in physical terms and physical quantities.

Many scientists also believe that metaphysical principles cannot be a part of real science because such principles and philosophies make claims that are not testable. Ironically, physicists who have jumped on the bandwagon of string theory and a multidimensional universe have embraced concepts that also cannot be tested. Checkmate.

If God created the world, then God created the laws of nature as well as the tenets of virtuous living. But theology offers us no further rational help here. It offers only faith and expects belief. Does God create one set of laws for nature and another set of laws for the human heart? Or are God’s laws wholly self-consistent? (Inconsistency implies imperfection.) If the ubiquitous law that everything in the universe proceeds by the most economical means flows out from the action of the Creator, then there must be a top-down causal link between God’s nature and the laws of nature.

This book attempts to show that the laws of nature emerged out from God’s spiritual principles and values. That is, the laws of nature and its forces are actually spiritual laws and forces extended into spacetime constraints. While this is daunting and challenging enough, it is not the only challenge of this book!

Many other tricky problems are associated with attempting to write a book like this. Each of these problems is one more landmine ready to explode when stepped on. In spite of this, I have decided to step everywhere and not purposely avoid any dangers. The first big landmine is best expressed by the quote:

 
“ I cannot give you the formula for success, but I can give you
the formula for failure: which is: try to please everybody.”

– Herbert B. Swope

I did not write this book to please anyone. People have different and strong opinions about things. Theologians argue with theologians, scientists argue with scientists, and theologians and scientists argue with each other, often bitterly. In science, we have competing theories, even within the realm of quantum physics. In religion, we have competing theologies, even within the realm of a single “ism.” For instance, did God create the world and let it run on its own (Deism) or is God continually active in the world (Theism) and interested in our personal happiness? If the latter is true, which interpretation of quantum mechanics do I use (assuming one is correct) for demonstrating how God acts in the world?

So, in my attempt to unify science with religion, I must answer the question: which scientific model do I use and which interpretation of theological doctrine do I use? Two wrongs do not make a right, and my attempt will surely lead to an enormous backlash, since most of my readers will have their oxen gored no matter what choices I make.

In our post-modern world, it is taboo even to suggest in any way that one religion or worldview is “superior” to another (and I would do this if I picked one). But there is a big difference between respecting everyone’s deepest beliefs and suggesting that these belief systems can be improved upon; few people are experts concerning their own faith systems anyway. Does any theology excel over others in addressing scientific issues? Does any theology even adequately address such issues as the virgin birth, miracles, the resurrection, the Second Coming, and the nature of heaven from a scientific perspective? (I have already tipped my hand that I will try to unify science with Christian theology.)

Even if I enjoyed special enlightenment and chose the best interpretation from science to describe reality and the best interpretation from theology, the problem still exists that science and theology use wholly different languages. The differences must be addressed and bridged. And, unless I plan to sell this book only to a handful of intellectuals, I also need to reach the understanding of normal but serious-thinking laypeople while still challenging their minds.

Another problem is that God will stand in the way of my ultimate success. I believe God does not want to be proven in any way that would threaten a person’s freedom of thought and discrimination. Otherwise God would use coercion and constantly interfere with all our daily activities. And what constitutes proof? For instance, if experiments reveal that prayer and worship have a positive effect on one’s health (and they do), is this proof of a Divine Architect? One might just as easily explain that faith is an evolutionary strategy of selfish genes to calm the human mind from stressful thoughts about the inevitable fate of one’s death and enable us to live longer and have more chances at reproduction. So even if such an experiment in faith were repeatable, it would still be open to interpretation.

I have also put myself in the uncomfortable position of going against the experts. Therefore, I run the risk that this work will be summarily dismissed. However, since none of the experts has all the answers, I have invited myself to the table.

 
“A leader must have the courage to act against the expert’s advice.”
– James Callaghan

My calling is to go against the advice of the experts, to shake things up and stir up the dust. I come to the table with the wish to stimulate healthy discussion. I have not shied away from making choices, and you will find my choices to be quite unexpected; in many cases they will be quite new to you.

I have chosen to use the scientific and theological ideas of Emanuel Swedenborg, an eighteenth-century scientist, philosopher, mystic and theologian. Using the ideas of a little known eighteenth-century thinker to straddle complex twenty-first century issues may seem like intellectual suicide. But I have studied this extraordinary man for more than 35 years, and I am confident that he has provided the world with scientific ideas that have yet to be grasped (like quantum gravity) and a theology that is most suited to interface with the discoveries of modern science. My undertaking will live or die on that choice.

Who is he? Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772) is one of the most overlooked thinkers in human intellectual history. His theology, while Christian, is radically inclusive and teaches that all those who sincerely live according to their religious beliefs and conscience and strive to do good from spiritual principles are welcomed into heaven. He states:

 
 
“ All people who live good lives, no matter what their religion,
have a place in heaven.”

This universal idea of the essence of religion to seek goodness in one’s life was shared by Einstein, who said:

 
 
“ True religion is real living; living with all one’s soul, with all
one’s goodness and righteousness.”

Swedenborg’s Christian theology was so universal that Buddhist scholar T.S. Suzuki wrote a book about him, comparing his ideas to Buddhism and calling him the “Buddha of the North.” Swedenborg demonstrated that similar universal principles could be found at the heart of all the world’s religions.

His most remarkable idea is that God’s Holy Word was more than a historical account of the human predicament. It was a scientific and multi-dimensional document. The Holy Word, which encompasses God’s wisdom, not only teaches us how to live, but also contains deeper levels of meaning that offer insights into the true nature of God and the scientific principles, laws, and symmetries that emerge from this Divine nature and Divine order.

God and science are one.

All true knowledge is connected because it leads to Love and Wisdom. Knowledge that does not lead us to wisdom is incomplete and disconnected from the bio-friendly laws of the universe. This idea of the ultimate interconnectedness of knowledge is not simply New Age drivel or philosophical naiveté. Real Science seeks knowledge for the goodness and benefit of society. How else is human achievement to be a blessing? How else can human society reach true greatness? Again, Einstein:

 
 
“ All religions, arts and sciences are branches of the same tree.
All these aspirations are directed towards ennobling man’s life,
lifting it from the sphere of mere physical existence and leading
the individual towards freedom.”

Also:

 
 
“ Intelligence makes clear to us the interrelationship of means and ends.
But mere thinking cannot give us a sense of the ultimate and fundamental ends.
To make clear these fundamental ends and valuations
and to set them fast in the emotional life of the individual,
seems to me precisely the most important function
which religion has to form in the social life of man.”
 

Swedenborg underscores Einstein’s sentiment that knowledge must lead us beyond head-intelligence and move toward the heart:

 
“ To understand and to be wise are two altogether distinct things,
for we may understand and still not be wise; but one leads us to the other,
namely, science to the cognition of truth (veri) and truth (veritas)
to the cognition of good, and it is the good which is sought for.
But in order that we may be wise, it is necessary,
not only that we should know and thus understand what truth and good are,
but that we should also be affected with the love of them.”

– Worship and Love of God, Part 3, footnote b

Love is an emotion, and only recently has neuroscience begun to look at the importance of emotion within human cognitive function and consciousness. All human thought links itself to some emotion, appetite, desire, intention, volition, or derivative of love, and emotion is now recognized as a vital part of human reason. In other words, the neural networks are subservient to affection, which modifies the activity that animates, focuses our attention, and shapes our very thoughts and memory.

Swedenborg anticipated these “modern” ideas about the brain more than 250 years ago, even taking these ideas into deeper structures within the neuron. He believed that passion, emotion, intention, and love modified the neural structures of the brain, and the resulting modifications represented the analogs, ratios and equations that produce human thought. Thoughts are the outer forms of our intentions. Said another way, emotions and affections are the inner life of our thoughts, and from these thoughts come our speech. No information, idea, or subject can connect itself to our personal lives without some affection. Our worldview is an internalization of our loves.

The importance of emotion in all this is that it links neuroscience to personal-level experience and contributes an important link between hard science, the human heart and a heavenly God of Love.

In spite of all the problems that come with writing a book like this, there is a way out of the challenge of pleasing readers. Everyone responds to Love. This book is about Love! Therefore, no matter what beliefs you hold, you are invited to experience a most pleasant surprise—that Love is the ultimate reality. I am not a betting man, but I wager that, quietly, you will root
me on!

                                                                               – Edward F. Sylvia, M.T.S.


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Foreword
by Ian J. Thompson, Ph.D.                                                  

 

It is well known that there are many severe problems yet unsolved in the foundations of physics, not least the question of whether and how to unify the dynamic geometries of general relativity with the superpositions of quantum mechanics. There are even more difficult problems when it comes to understanding minds and how they can be related to the physical world. Most scientists these days want to accept some kind of “non-reductive physicalism,” but there are still persistent debates about whether such a view is even internally consistent. And there is always the question of how to God can possibly be understood, and how anything Divine can be related to the physical world. Can we say anything scientific, for example, about how God could influence the evolution of life on earth? Most scientists and philosophers want rather to accept some kind of “dual magisteria,” whereby science and religion are allowed to peaceably coexist within their own realms, and as long as they are not allowed to disturb each other.

 

These commonly held views are all based on the desire to leave science alone; to let it proceed autonomously and not to disturb it. However, the views are all based on ignorance of connections. They all reflect the fact that we do not yet have any scientific knowledge that connects general relativity with quantum mechanics, or connects minds with the physical world, or connects anything Divine with the universe. They are all therefore susceptible to revision if we do have some good theory about any of these connections. Many today say that there are no connections, but that again is from ignorance. If someone does propose a theory for these connections, then that proposal should be worked out as best as possible, as it may be a chance for solving our severe problems.

 

Developing such a connecting theory is what Ed Sylvia is trying to do in this book, based on some neglected ideas found in the works of Emanuel Swedenborg. Swedenborg, a Swede who lived from 1688 to 1772, claimed to have received extensive instruction in philosophical, spiritual and theological knowledge after his “inner sight was opened” in his 50s. Before that stage, Swedenborg had demonstrated a very independent and penetrating scientific mind, and published a Principia to explain his theory of how physical objects may be constructed by the rapid spiral motions of microscopic points.

 

This is not the place to discuss the entire veracity of Swedenborg’s writings, but his ideas do certainly appear to be relevant to all our contemporary problems as listed above. This book starts by using Swedenborg’s early physics ideas to see how a more modern account of how a “pregeometric” realm might be constructed. Ed then works to link that account with Swedenborg’s later ideas about how a spiritual realm might exist, and how such a realm might function in relation to the physical world. In a most interesting manner, Swedenborg and Sylvia see the spiritual world as continuously existing “alongside” the physical, and continually generating the physical world to sustain it in apparently stable forms. This, they argue, gives the appearance of physicalism, as the world functions “as if” from its own powers; but the powers are themselves derived from some other (spiritual) cause. And it would go some way to explain the apparent autonomy of the physical world.

 

Of course, anyone can make such claims: the proof is in the details. And there are certainly many details known today about the world that could not have been known in the 18th century. It is therefore a challenge to present Swedenborg’s ideas again in relation to what we now know about physics, biology and neurology. Sylvia certainly rises to that challenge.

 

 

Ian J. Thompson

 

 

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, California
and Department of Physics, University of Surrey, Guildford, United Kingdom.

Aug 28, 2009.

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