Evolution Mystery Solved?

When did we become human? This is a question that still remains to be solved by anthropologists.

Did we become human when we first stood up on two legs, freeing our hands for tool making, which demanded more mental ingenuity? Was it the creation of language? Art?

In order to understand at what point our species became human, we need to understand what it means to be human.

Humans enjoy both an external (corporeal) and inner (spiritual) reality. Our external reality is similar to that of other creatures, which have natural and worldly desires for food, comfort and sex. But our deeper, inner reality is something other creatures do not share.

This inner reality provided a medium by which God could affect the minds of men and women and enter into a most unique relationship. Through this medium and relationship, the human species can override its corporeal or natural level and continue to evolve inwardly into new spiritual beings called angels.

According to the theological writings and personal discoveries of Emanuel Swedenborg, we became human when we first began to both recognize and worship God. We are human from what we receive from God through our inner, psychical world.

God has given men and women two capacities in life that make us human. They are free will and discernment. These two capacities are the essence of human form (not ten toes and fingers or an upright stance). These two gifts are the finite equivalent of God’s Divine Love and Divine Wisdom. Free will has reference to love and discernment has reference to wisdom.

It is the two capacities of free will and discernment that make us an image of the Lord God. They allow God to make a covenant with the human race.

The Infinite essence is Love. Love is living and conscious (wise). Love is Infinite Personality. So God’s form is infinitely and divinely human.

Therefore one could also say that standing upright is what made us human—if we look at this as an inner or mental posture—which allows us to gaze towards heaven rather than have our eyes always fixed to the earth. In this way “standing upright,” means becoming an upright citizen through the observance of God’s tenets.

Our special God-given inner reality, called spirit, is the means by which men and women can gain eternal life and happiness.

Jesus is Jehovah

One of the most harmful ideas a Christian can have is that the Holy Trinity represents three persons, rather than three attributes of one Divine Person (like omniscience, omnipotence and omnipresence).

Under this “polytheistic” concept the idea of Salvation becomes ludicrous. It portrays that God the Father became utterly disgusted with the human race but that His Son, after suffering on the cross for the sake of humankind, so impressed Him with compassion that He had second thoughts. Of course, this means the Heavenly Father only really loved His Son and humans are still to be considered as worthless crap. This divine shallowness makes it hard to reconcile how God can be infinite love and infinite wisdom.

This idea of the Trinity gets even worse when we consider that technically, Jesus saves no one, but that Jehovah God sends the Holy Spirit to do the actual saving. So worshiping God is tricky business. We mortals can easily make the mistake of approaching the wrong God at the wrong time. Such a spiritual faux pas can land us into eternal trouble (yes, people with good hearts can be damned on technicalities).

This confusing matter is cleared up when a person comes to understand that the stories of Scripture offer three distinct levels of meaning, each containing deeper interpretations of God’s revealed truth. But since it is extremely difficult to share with you entirely new levels of interpretation (quantum language) within a short post, I can happily say that even a careful inspection of the literal (lowest) meaning of the Holy Word verifies that there is only One God. In other words, it is Jehovah God who is eternally concerned for humankind and who is our redeemer and savior:

I will make mention of mercies of Jehovah; He hath requited them according to His mercies, and according to the multitude of His mercies; and He became their Saviour. In all their affliction He was afflicted, and the angel of His faces saved them; in His love and in his pity He redeemed them. (Isaiah 63:7-9)

In the amazing theological work of Emanuel Swedenborg, entitled the Apocalypse Revealed (pages 405-7) he offers several other biblical quotes that point to the idea that Jehovah Himself would come into the world and assume the Human form as our visible Savior. Here are a few:

It shall be said in that day, Lo, This is our God, whom we have waited for, that He may free us; This is Jehovah, whom we have waited for; let us exult and rejoice in His salvation. (Isaiah, 25:9)

Am I not Jehovah? and there is no God else besides Me; a just God and a Savior, there is none besides Me. (Isaiah, 45:21,22)

Unto us a Boy is born, unto us a Son is given, whose name is Wonderful, Counsellor, God, Hero, the Father of eternity, the Prince of peace. (Isaiah, 9:6)

Philip said unto Jesus, Show us the Father; Jesus said unto him, He that seeth Me seeth the Father; how sayest thou than, show us the Father? Believest thou not that I am in the Father and the Father in Me? Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me. (John, 14:8-11)

Thankfully, most worshippers do not bother with the mind-numbing details of how their particular Church denomination explains the Holy Trinity. This spares many Christians from falling into false doctrines.

But should you be of an inquisitive mind, I invite you to ask your priest or minister to give you the exact and full details of how God, under the Trinitarian Doctrine, will save you. Since your salvation is at stake, DEMAND AN ANSWER. Then you be the judge of whether it satisfies Jehovah God’s first commandment.

If they tell you that faith in Jesus overrides following the ten commandments, then get the heck out of there!

If you would like more information on this topic see my two previous posts entitled, The Divine Rope-A-Dope, and Physics And The Easter Miracle.

Creation and the Metrics of Love

While this has led some theorists to believe in a Creation out of nothingness (Creatio ex nihilo), the problem with such a scenario is that it leads us to a cosmic dead end if we have set our hearts at finding the first causal principles of reality. How can we understand agency and natural law emerging from a pre-physical void? What special initial conditions could exist in a non-spatial and non-temporal realm that would be capable of carrying the seeds for our fruitful universe?

Thankfully, some serious forward-thinking physicists are working with the idea that time and space may have emerged from a realm of pre-geometry. In this pre-space, pre-temporal realm, there is a new kind of “activity.” Rather than the usual concept of motion or trajectory as a displacement of position, this activity would involve a change of states.

Is there anything that falls within our human experience that can verify whether dynamical change can really take place apart from spacetime measurement? Yes there is! In fact, change of state or non-physical action actually represents the most intimate perception of reality that we are conscious of. We even apply a unique standard of measurement to this non-physical activity.

We experience these change of states as our mental states (and changing dispositions). The human mind cannot be said to be located in space yet the mind’s thoughts and feelings are real activities that have real trajectories and measurement (metrics). Our goals and wishes represent these non-physical trajectories and we possess an inner sense of the psychical “distance” between where we are and where we need to be upon accomplishing our goals. We can also have big goals and smaller goals.

Obviously, our individual mental goals are not measured in meters, inches, miles or yardsticks. They are measured by what we value (which are all derivatives of love). This inner measurement is even more real to us then our physical reality because IT IS “US.”

People can seem close to us, or miles apart, according to whether we have similar values and affections (which has nothing to do with physical distance). If a person is unselfish and loving, we see him or her as “big” person (sometimes a giant among others) but if an individual is selfish he or she is seen as acting very “small.”

So size, distance, and place all come under a different standard of measurement when concerning our inner or spiritual reality. In this inner world, love sets the parameters.

So what does all this have to with discovering the first principles and special initial conditions of the universe before the appearance of time and space? Well, rather than nothingness, perhaps the world was created from LOVE. In other words, love should be scientifically considered as fundamental formative substance.

If the universe had a beginning (and was created) then first causal principles and agency must be sought after in a non-physical realm where time equaled zero (t=0). This realm must provide us with the origin of natural law and offer an explanation of how the quantum world of possibilities can logically take us to the time-irreversible outcomes of least actions that we see operating on larger scales of the cosmos (Newtonian physics). But I believe first principles must do even more than this, much more!

There is a concept in physics called the correspondence principle in which prior realities must help explain posterior realities. So if we truly seek a priori or first principles these principles must show us why nature is unified and has a continuous compulsion (endeavor) for self-organization and increased complexity, including bio-complexity.

First principles must not only be able to function in a pre-space world but they must represent living and organic principles right out of the starting gate!

Existence is relationship. Nothing exists without co-existence. The essence of love is an endeavor to unite. Even the organized mutual cooperation of living systems is a physical analog of Love. In humans, the bio-complexity of the brain has reached a level of sophistication where we can consciously choose to improve civilization through noble acts of love and the mutual sharing of our talents.

In such a cosmic scheme, first principles descend from a non-physical realm into the world of matter, than ascend back towards the invisible realm through increased complexity, the evolution of human consciousness, and resulting in the development of a non-physical, inner reality. This non-physical realm is called heaven.

Therefore, religion was given to humans in order that their activities and lives could put the first principles of the universe on display and help God realize the ultimate scheme of creation – the exaltation of love.

Love is the only force I know of that manifests endeavor and possibility. And, since love seeks self-representation in all things created (which is why everything is interconnected through utility), it absolutely requires the correspondence principle, self-consistency, a principle of least action, and the fine-tuning of natural laws.

Love is the ultimate science. The purpose of my next book, Proving God, is to flush out all these ideas in order to unify science with God’s wonderful plan.

Eating Your Way To Heaven

The multitudes of diet books for sale attest to the fact that we humans have developed poor eating habits. Eating involves more than satisfying one’s appetite, it also partakes of judgment. We constantly have to judge between eating what gives us the most pleasure and what food will do us the most good.

But is there a food so healthy for us that eating it will turn us into angels and get us all the way to heaven? The answer is “yes.”

Of course, eating your way to heaven does not mean merely switching your dessert from a seven-layered devil’s food cake to angel cake. Heaven is not a physical world, so it requires a steady diet of special, non-physical foodstuffs.

In my previous post I brought up the idea of a more rarefied aliment that is especially suitable to our species. Humans also have an appetite and a thirst for knowledge. The human brain and mind are actually the digestive system of our spirit. Everything the physical digestive system does with terrestrial food has its analog with what the mind does with information.

For example, we chew and ruminate on ideas. This mental activity lets us find out whether ideas or concepts are savory to our personal tastes and worthy of being “swallowed.” Next, our mind churns and rolls these ideas around so that they can be broken down further into their constituents. The mind then scrutinizes this mental material more deeply. In this way our discernment and judgment act as mental digestive enzymes (the acid test). If these constituents are judged as agreeable, they are finally absorbed and enter into the very fabric of our inner being (otherwise they are jettisoned as “crap”).

Like physical food, there are ideas which can seduce our thinking and bring us lots of pleasure, but are not necessarily going to do us the most good. This is why we need to reflect on all our compulsions. This is also why we need a higher form of nutritional guidance and wisdom to help our judgment.

God’s Holy Word is actually a Divine Diet Book. The whole cosmic drama of Adam and Eve was based solely on what to eat and what not to eat. In the same way that physical food is metabolized and becomes part of our spiritual being, information is metabolized in a way that it can become part of our inner or spiritual being. Therefore, both types of “eating” represent appropriation. We can accept God and religion or reject it.

Now the phrase “you are what you eat” takes on a more critical and eternal meaning. When one sheds his or her physical body after death in this world we are left with our spiritual fabric, which was formed out of the ideas, concepts, and belief systems we developed a strong appetite for. We then gravitate to either a world of compulsions or an unselfish world of wisdom.

It is not hard to imagine that a world where compulsive behavior runs rampant will be populated by individuals who seek to satisfy only themselves. This creates an environment of hatred and sets up a condition whereby there can only be eternal frustration in people’s never-ending hunger to dominate others and have things their own way. This frustration is the eternal “fire” of hell.

On other hand, those in heaven have developed their spiritual bodies to be able to metabolize and act according to God’s love and wisdom. I hope I have made these ideas easier for you to digest.

Bon apetit!

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How do I find my spiritual source?

Experiencing my centre and spiritual source isn’t something that just happens for me. I find I need to make a conscious effort to search out this higher power and that means turning in the right direction. But you can’t turn round unless you first recognise which way you are currently facing.

Perhaps this is why I couldn’t write this article yesterday. There was ample time available and plenty of peace and quiet around me. But to focus your mind on something as profound as one’s spiritual source you really have to be in the right place within yourself. And I just wasn’t there. Too busy hankering after something that I know deep down isn’t part of the uplifting journey of my life. Too occupied with what I greedily wanted rather than prioritising food for the soul. I had to remind myself that if I really wanted the creative juices to flow, and get some inspiration, then I really must stop indulging in what is harmful to my inner life and instead turn towards something higher and better.

spiritual sourceThe sun as a symbol of the spiritual source

One symbol for what is highest and best that I find helpful is that of the sun. Without its warmth and light no plant would grow or animal survive. Likewise, is there not a fundamental centre to existence that supplies us with loving feeling and enlightened thought? Without a divine source for warmth and light, how can humanity develop and prosper?

The sun appears to us as small, yet it is really enormous. Similarly, although the creative source of all that we know is infinite, doesn’t it seem to us that, when we are wrapped up in our own concerns, the God of religion is small and often goes without notice?

The sun hides away at night and there is darkness but really, it is there all the time: it is just that as the earth spins on its axis, we occasionally turn away and face the opposite direction. Don’t we also have times when we feel perplexed and puzzled trying to see our way through the difficulties of daily living? It seems to us at the time that we are in the dark about what to do for the best. Perhaps we are facing in the wrong direction.

We think the sun’s heat and light is different in summer and winter but actually they never vary. It is only the tilt of the earth in its orbit that causes the seasons. In the same way, don’t we at times turn our backs on loving feelings and the light of true conscience, thus tilting ourselves away from the principles which had guided our life?  Love and light were there all the time, just hidden by our worry, fear, and negative mood.

Conscious turning towards our spiritual source

All this highlights for me the need for a conscious turning towards my spiritual source. Without effort to take stock and reflect on my inner state, I am not going to notice my complacency. Only when I remember just how much my life needs to turn round, and how inadequate I am of myself for this task of personal transformation, am I energised to try to seek the spiritual power that can really improve me. Only when I turn towards my spiritual sun can I hope to receive the gift of genuine warm-heartedness and illuminated insight. Only when I throw away the illusion that love and light are hidden will I trust I can find them again.

“In order to find God, and to become changed into the Divine likeness, and to pass from death into life, we have to seek God with great fervour and intensity.  We seem to be encased in a hard shell of complacency; or to be suffering from an hypnotic spell, which prevents us from becoming sufficiently awake and alert and in earnest to seek God and Reality in such a way as to bring results.” (Christian mystic, HT Hamblin)

Copyright 2013 Stephen Russell-Lacy
Author of Heart, Head & Hands Swedenborg’s perspective on emotional problems

Religion As God’s Evolutionary Strategy

Science is more concerned with the “how” of things rather than the “why.” If we are to have a constructive dialog between science and theology the answer to the “why” question will have to generate new knowledge about the world and actually change the direction of progressive research.

Emanuel Swedenborg, in his great theological work, Divine Providence, states that the purpose and goal of creation is to form a heaven from the human race. But WHY does God need to create anything at all, including humans?

Since the essence of spiritual love is sharing, God creates a universe as an object in which to direct and focus all that divine love. In other words, nature is the object of God’s love. Nature’s ceaseless drive towards order, self-organization and bio-complexity tells us that existence is relationship, and that all created things are self-representations of God’s nature (the essence of love is to unify).

But such a one-sided situation cannot fulfill love’s ultimate plan.

Love is not complete unless it is reciprocal. For spiritual love to be truly reciprocal, a creature must emerge in the physical world with a level of consciousness capable of acknowledging a Creator and loving God back. God seeks this ultimate relationship. (In religion this is called God’s covenant with humankind.)

Evolution, even when described in Darwinian terms, shows an obvious pattern towards increased intelligence and consciousness. However, evolutionary biology does not fully take into account that, unlike other creatures, the human species has found its niche in the world of information (as opposed to simply adapting their physical form to respond to the changing pressures of a natural environment). Humans seek out information in the same way other creatures forage for food.

Information is food and is much different than, let’s say, an apple. If you share half your apple with someone else, you are left with half an apple. If you share half your information with someone else you still possess all your knowledge. Information and knowledge are not under the same constraints of physical laws as an apple.

Knowledge and information do, however, come under the constraints of our personal values. What each of us seeks, intends, wishes and believes, shapes our attention and gives order and real organization to the ideas of our memory. In other words, it is in this non-physical niche of the mind and human spirit that evolution can still continue.

Religion deals with values.

In order for God to create a heaven from the human race, humans must be able to evolve beyond the physical world and adapt their lives to the laws of a distinct and more rarefied environment. Heaven is not a reward but is something we become. Obtaining heaven requires that the inner bio-organization of our spirit becomes responsive to, and adapted for, receiving God’s spiritual love and values.

When we adopt God’s tenets into our lives we are actually re-organizing the spiritual substances of our mind and spirit into new living structure. This process produces a spiritual body, which is the real embodiment of the spiritual principles and values we each choose and put into practice throughout our lives.

Nothing exists without form, neither in this world nor in the next. Our values and principles (whatever they may be) become the real fabric of our innermost being and involve real bio-structure. What we love molds our spiritual body exactly to our disposition. Under this system goodness is its own reward and evil is its own punishment.

So religion is God’s strategy to extend both bio-complexity and the biosphere into a non-temporal and non-spatial realm called heaven. This makes religion a “scientific” belief system with lawful intelligibility. True religion explains the laws of the heart and mind with the same systematic and rigorous methodology that science uses to explain the physical laws of the visible universe.

Do you believe that the mysteries of faith can come under the comprehension of human reasoning, as does science?

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