Jacob and Esau provide a profound lesson for today’s psychologists (and theologians!)

The authority and inerrancy of the Holy Bible has come under a new kind of challenge in the post-modern world. This challenge comes not just from atheists but also from a new crop of Christian theologians who no longer identify themselves as possessing an absolute deposit of inerrant sacred writings, or, of inheriting an infallible interpretation (exegesis) of the Bible’s message. Instead, this new theological movement is concerning itself with the core belief that Christianity proclaims a universal saving and transformational event. Everything else in religion is now seen to lead to a set of beliefs that are oppressive and destructive and needs correction.

Scientist/theologian Emanuel Swedenborg would agree with this new Christian emphasis on God’s transforming love rather than on a mere “book” religion. But he also added an unexpected twist that challenges the relativistic character of modernity in its shift away from embracing the Bible as an absolute and closed deposit of truth (from above). He offered a new and deeper look at Scripture that both broke down the rigid walls of religious orthodoxy yet provided rational evidence of the authority, sacredness and inerrancy of the Holy Word!

He claimed that this authority, sacredness and inerrancy of Scripture was not to be found in its literal or historical accounts, but in its layered architecture, which contain deeper levels of meaning!

On one deeper level, Scripture embraces profound psychology. For instance, the biblical story of Jacob and Esau in Genesis offers a profound study of the growth of mind and the evolution of proper human behavior—according to the laws of God’s divine order.

Jacob symbolizes the human intellect while Esau represents the human heart, will, and volition. Psychologically, the growth of the human intellect involves the exploration of knowledge that can lead us to truth. This operation takes the lead. Then an inversion takes place. The intellectual path to finding truth leads us to the heart and that which most represents goodness in our value-system (all knowledge is evaluated according to its serviceability—its goodness). This goodness then begins to command the intellect and generates further knowledge. This mental process of inversion is symbolized by Jacob inheriting Esau’s birthright—the intellect gains command first. But as the biblical story unfolds, Jacob eventually returns to his older twin brother and becomes his servant‑the intellect now begins to serve the heart. Speaking psychologically, Jacob represents analytical thought while Esau represents a new synthesis. These cognitive functions are psychical brothers!

Deeper still (according to Swedenborg) the Bible stories relate directly to Christ’s universal work of transforming love—even the Old Testament! The same Genesis story of Jacob and Esau also symbolize the process of the Lord’s glorification when He lived in the world. This sacred process involved the Lord perfectly uniting His human essence to His divine heavenly essence. This unifying process is how the Word was made flesh and how the Lord became the Alpha and Omega. This also explains how the “Word” and the “Son” are synonymous (which would not be the case if the Old Testament did not refer to the Lord alone on some deeper level).

So the Holy Word is indeed God’s revealed wisdom—not merely the work of different human authors, written from various points of view by individuals who were influenced by the cultural, political, economic or personal circumstances of the times that they found themselves in. Simply put, human authors cannot write in the divine style of the Bible’s three-tiered narrative.

Why would God communicate in this multi-tiered way?

The reason is that God’s Holy Word needs to service both terrestrial humans and spiritual angels. God’s Holy Word has to be adapted to both kinds of brain systems. Angels easily grasp the deeper spiritual and divine meanings contained in Scripture but humans have to learn to think above their worldly ideas (materialistic ideology).

The Lord God is betting that this is possible for humanity. The big secret concerning the Lord’s Second Coming and Revelation is that it represents His “reappearance” within our minds and hearts via a new understanding of Scripture. I have just scratched the surface of what the future of religion will unfold.

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As of the Lord‘s Divine mercy it has been given me to know the internal meaning of the Word, in which are contained deepest arcana that have not before come to any one’s knowledge, nor can come unless the nature of the other life is known (for very many things of the Word‘s internal sense have regard to, describe, and involve those of that life), I am permitted to disclose what I have heard and seen during some years in which it has been granted me to be in the company of spirits and angels. [AC 67]

I am well aware that many will say that no one can possibly speak with spirits and angels so long as he lives in the body; and many will say that it is all fancy, others that I relate such things in order to gain credence, and others will make other objections. But by all this I am not deterred, for I have seen, I have heard, I have felt. [AC 68]

Man was so created by the Lord as to be able while living in the body to speak with spirits and angels, as in fact was done in the most ancient times; for, being a spirit clothed with a body, he is one with them. But because in process of time men so immersed themselves in corporeal and worldly things as to care almost nothing for aught besides, the way was closed. Yet as soon as the corporeal things recede in which man is immersed, the way is again opened, and he is among spirits, and in a common life with them. [AC 69]

As it is permitted me to disclose what for several years I have heard and seen, it shall here be told, first, how the case is with man when he is being resuscitated; or how he enters from the life of the body into the life of eternity. In order that I might know that men live after death, it has been given me to speak and be in company with many who were known to me during their life in the body; and this not merely for a day or a week, but for months, and almost a year, speaking and associating with them just as in this world. They wondered exceedingly that while they lived in the body they were, and that very many others are, in such incredulity as to believe that they will not live after death; when in fact scarcely a day intervenes after the death of the body before they are in the other life; for death is a continuation of life. [AC 70]
THE CONSUMMATION OF THE AGE, THE COMING OF THE LORD,
AND THE NEW HEAVEN AND NEW CHURCH.

THE CONSUMMATION OF THE AGE IS THE LAST TIME OF THE CHURCH OR ITS END.
There have been several churches on this earth, and in the course of time they have all been consummated, and after their consummation new churches have arisen, and so on to the present time. The consummation of the church takes place when there is no Divine truth left except what has been falsified or set aside; and when there is no genuine truth no genuine good is possible, since every quality of good is formed by means of truths; for good is the essence of truth, and truth is the form of good, and without form there can be no quality. Good and truth can no more be separated than will and understanding, or what is the same thing, than love’s affection and the thought therefrom. Consequently when truth is consummated in a church, good is also consummated there; and when this takes place, the church comes to an end, that is, is consummated. [TCR753]

The church is consummated by various means, especially by such things as cause falsity to appear to be truth; and when falsity appears to be truth, good that is essentially good, such as is called spiritual good, is no longer possible. The good that is then believed to be good is merely natural good, such as is brought forth by a moral life. The chief cause of the consummation of truth and of good along with it, is the two natural loves that are diametrically opposed to the two spiritual loves, and that are called love of self and love of the world. Love of self when it is predominant is the opposite of love to God, and love of the world when it is predominant is the opposite of love to the neighbor. Love of self is a wishing well to oneself alone, and not to any other except for the sake of self; and the same is true of love of the world; and these loves when they are fostered spread like gangrene through the body, gradually destroying every part of it. That such love has invaded the churches is manifest from Babylon and the way it is described (Gen. 11:1-9; Isa. 13; 14; 47; Jer. 50; Dan. 2:31-47; 3:1-7 seq.; 5; 6:8-28; 7:1-14; and Rev. 17 and 18 from beginning to end of both). Babylon has finally exalted itself to such a degree as not only to transfer the Lord’s Divine power to itself, but also to strive with the utmost energy to grasp all the riches of the world. That like loves would break forth from many of the leaders of the churches outside the pale of Babylon, if their power were not restricted and thus curbed, may be deduced from certain signs and appearances not altogether without meaning. What then follows but that such a man will regard himself as God and the world as heaven, and will pervert all the truth of the church? For it is impossible for the merely natural man to recognize and acknowledge real truth, which is truth in itself, nor can such truth be given him by God, because it falls into what is inverse to it and becomes falsity. Besides these two loves there are still other causes of the consummation of truth and good, and consequently of the church; but those causes are secondary and subordinate to these two. [TCR754]
THIS SECOND COMING OF THE LORD IS NOT A COMING IN PERSON,

BUT IN THE WORD, WHICH IS FROM HIM, AND IS HIMSELF.
It is written in many places that the Lord will come in the clouds of heaven (as in Matt. 17:5; 24:30; 26:64; Mark 14:62; Luke 9:34, 35; 21:27; Rev. 1:7; 14:14; Dan. 7:13). And as no one has hitherto known what is meant by “the clouds of heaven,” it has been believed that the Lord would appear in them in Person. Heretofore it has not been known that “the clouds of heaven” mean the Word in the sense of the letter, and that the “glory and power” in which He is then to come (Matt. 24:30), mean the spiritual sense of the Word, because no one as yet has had the least conjecture that there is a spiritual sense in the Word, such as this sense is in itself. But as the Lord has now opened to me the spiritual sense of the Word, and has granted me to be associated with angels and spirits in their world as one of them, it is disclosed that “a cloud of heaven” means the Word in the natural sense, and “glory” the Word in the spiritual sense, and “power” the Lord’s power through the Word. That such is the signification of “the clouds of heaven” may be seen from the following passages in the Word:

There is none like unto the God of Jeshurun who rideth in the heaven, and in magnificence upon the clouds (Deut. 33:26-27).
Sing unto God, praise His name; extol Him that rideth upon the clouds (Ps. 68:4).
Jehovah rideth upon a light cloud (Isa. 19:1).

[2] “To ride” signifies to instruct in Divine truths from the Word, for “a horse” signifies understanding of the Word (see Apocalypse Revealed, n. 298). Who does not see that God does not ride upon the clouds?

Again:

God rode upon cherubs. He made His pavilion thick clouds of the heavens (Ps. 18:10, 11).

“Cherubs” also signify the Word (see Apocalypse Revealed, n. 239, 672).

Jehovah bindeth up the waters in His clouds; Him spreadeth His cloud over His throne (Job 26:8, 9).
Give ye strength unto God; His strength is in the clouds (Ps. 68:34).
Jehovah will create over every dwelling of Mount Zion a cloud by day; for over all the glory shall be a covering (Isa. 4:5).

The Word in the sense of the letter was also represented by the cloud in which Jehovah descended upon Mount Sinai, when He promulgated the law; the principles of the law that were then promulgated were the first fruits of the Word.

[3] As further proof, the following may also be added: In the spiritual world as well as in the natural world there are clouds, but from a different origin. In the spiritual world there are sometimes bright clouds over the angelic heavens, but dusky cloud over the hells. The bright clouds over the angelic heaven signify obscurity there arising from the literal sense of the Word; but when these clouds are dispersed, it signifies that they are in the clear light of the Word from the spiritual sense; while the dusky clouds over the hells signify the falsification and profanation of the Word. This signification of “clouds” in the spiritual world has its origin in the fact that the light which there goes forth from the Lord as a sun, signifies Divine truth; for which reason He is called “the Light” (John 1:9; 12:35). And for the same reason the Word itself there which is kept in the sacred recesses of the temples, appears surrounded by a clear white light, and its obscurity is induced by clouds. [TCR776]
THIS SECOND COMING OF THE LORD IS EFFECTED BY MEANS OF A MAN TO WHOM THE LORD HAS MANIFESTED HIMSELF IN PERSON, AND WHOM HE HAS FILLED WITH HIS SPIRIT,
THAT HE MAY TEACH THE DOCTRINES OF THE NEW CHURCH FROM THE LORD BY MEANS OF THE WORD
Since the Lord cannot manifest Himself in Person, as shown just above, and nevertheless has foretold that He was to come and establish a new church, which is the New Jerusalem, it follows that He will do this by means of a man, who is able not only to receive these doctrines in his understanding but also to publish them by the press. That the Lord manifested Himself before me, His servant, and sent me to this office, that He afterward opened the eyes of my spirit and thus introduced me into the spiritual world and granted me to see the heavens and the hells, and to talk with angels and spirits, and this now continuously for several years, I affirm in truth; as also that from the first day of that call I have not received anything whatever pertaining to the doctrines of that church from any angel, but from the Lord alone while I have read the Word. [TCR779]

In order that the Lord might be continuously present with me He has unfolded to me the spiritual sense of His Word, wherein is Divine truth in its very light, and it is in this light that He is continually present. For His presence in the Word is by means of the spiritual sense and in no other way; through the light of this sense He passes into the obscurity of the literal sense, which is like what takes place when the light of the sun in day-time is passing through an interposing cloud. That the sense of the letter of the Word is like a cloud, and the spiritual sense is the glory, the Lord Himself being the sun from which the light comes, and that thus the Lord is the Word, has been shown above. That “the glory” in which He is to come (Matt. 24:30), signifies Divine truth in its light, in which light the spiritual sense of the Word is, can be clearly seen from the following passages:

The voice of one crying in the desert, prepare ye the way of Jehovah; the glory of Jehovah shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it (Isa. 40:3, 5).
Shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of Jehovah is risen upon thee (Isa. 40:1 to the end).
I will give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles, and My glory will I not give to another (Isa. 42:6, 8; 48:11).
Thy light shall break forth as the morning; the glory of Jehovah shall gather thee up (Isa. 48:8).
All the earth shall be filled with the glory of Jehovah (Num. 14:21; Isa. 6:1-3; 46:18).
In the beginning was the Word; in Him was life, and the life was the light of men. That was the true Light. And the Word was made flesh, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father (John 1:1, 4, 9, 14).
The heavens declare the glory of God (Ps. 19:1).
The glory of God will lighten the Holy Jerusalem, and the Lamb is the light thereof, and the nations that are saved shall walk in the light of it (Apoc. 21:23, 24).

Besides in many other places. “Glory” signifies Divine truth its fullness, because all that is magnificent in heaven is from the light that goes forth from the Lord, and the light going forth from Him as the sun there, is in its essence Divine truth.[TCR780]

Author: EMANUEL SWEDENBORG (1688-1772)

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John at Patmos

Once upon a time the Apostle John found himself on the island of Patmos. Geographically, this island could be said to be located in the middle of two great civilizations—east and west.

But John also found himself in an unusual but similar mental place as well. He was meditating equally with both hemispheres of his brain. He needed all his brainpower to make sense out of the things he had personally witnessed and was told by his Lord Jesus Christ.

He was aware that as one of the Lord’s twelve disciples and closest followers he had received special teachings, teachings that were not given to the multitudes. Because of this intimate relationship, He was given deeper insights into the Lord’s parables. He had witnessed the Lord’s transfiguration at the top of a mountain. He saw the Lord perform miracles. He had personally witnessed the empty tomb. He also traveled with the Lord on the four-hour journey to Emmaus—after the crucifixion.

But even these amazing things were not the full reason for his amazement.

In each case the Lord had taken his brain to places where human feet could not go. It was as though the Lord was concerned with opening the minds of his disciples to new revelations. These revelations challenged the worldly belief that the Scriptures referred to mere physical events. John had experienced rarified moments where his mind caught glimpses of the Lord as the Word Incarnate, and not simply as a combative Messiah sent to squash Roman oppression. The stories contained in the books of Moses and the Prophets miraculously conveyed special details of the Lord’s life and His more important divine combat over the spiritual oppression that was taking place within the souls of men and women.

At these special meditative times, John no longer felt that he was in his physical body. He experienced this wonderful elevation of his mind when he walked up the steps to the second floor of the room in which the Lord had His Last Supper. It was as though the Lord was cleverly using the physical world to convey symbolic and spiritual meaning! He marveled that humankind was not ready for such a deep and unexpected teaching. And he himself, like the other disciples, did not fully grasp the full significance of all this. Many of the Lord’s teachings about the Holy Word and the heavenly kingdom were still obscure and remote to his normal way of thinking.

John now turned his attention and meditative power to the Lord’s words that some of his disciples would see the Kingdom of Heaven before their deaths. John wondered about this. Suddenly he felt his mind elevated from the physical world and was now in his spirit. In this state of heart and mind the obscure ideas he had about Holy Scripture became like clouds forming above his spirit. These were the same clouds that appeared to him after he, Peter and James saw Jesus transfigured atop a mountain.

Suddenly, with the eyes of his spirit, John saw Jesus appearing out of the clouds of his mental obscurity. He had witnessed the first coming of the Lord with his physical eyes. Now he was witnessing the Lord’s Second Coming with his spiritual eyes. The Lord now was about to give John an inside look at the deepest heavenly secrets contained within Scripture. This deeper look was the real revelation behind what John had witnessed and was told to write on a scroll.

Now let us fast-forward two thousand years.

Today, Jesus is also returning to clear up the clouds of mental obscurity for all those individuals who are willing, like John, to be taught new things. But such an earth shaking (paradigm changing) “event” will require humility, sincerity and an openness of the human spirit to learn from and experience the truly miraculous.

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The True and False Theory of Evolution

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from Chauncey Giles, The True and False Theory of Evolution (Philadelphia:  William H. Alden 1887)

A pertinent-as-ever elegant analysis of the evolution theory in the light of the teachings of the Second Coming

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The True and False Theory of Evolution

by Rev. Chauncey Giles

Table of Contents

Introduction

Lecture I: The True And The False Theory Of Evolution

Lecture II: The Origin And Nature Of Life

Lecture III: The Descent Of Man

Lecture IV: Heredity

Lecture V: Environment

Lecture VI: Degrees And Correspondence

To Lecture I
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Don’t be a parable-pooper

The Lord spoke to the multitudes one way and to His disciples another. What was the difference in the two forms of teaching?

Obviously Jesus gave the disciples more details. But what did these details relate to? The answer is that the Lord spent additional time with the disciples to explain the deeper meaning of His parables and how all the stories of Scripture contained deeper truths.

This is highlighted by the Lord’s taking several disciples to a mountaintop, where they briefly saw Him transfigured and conversing with Moses and Elias, and also by the special conversation the Lord had with His disciples along the journey to Emmaus.

When the His disciples asked the Lord why He spoke in parables, His reply was “Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven . . .” (Matt. 13:11)

In other words, the Lord attempted to teach His disciples about the symbolism and inner depth of Scripture. Concerning this deeper knowledge of faith, the Lord told them, “For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.” (Matt. 13:17)

There are also references in Scripture indicating that even the disciples did not understand everything they were being told. These things included such paradoxes as the conflicting statements about the Lord’s return “And then shall they see the son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory” (Luke 21:27) compared with “The kingdom of God cometh not with observation” (Luke 17:20).

In fact, to add even greater confusion concerning the details of Lord’s return He also told His disciples that “I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.” (John 16:12)

What could the human mind not bear – especially if it concerns the good news of the Lord returning to reprove the world of sin? The answer can be summed up best by Walt Kelly’s comic strip character Pogo, who said, “We have met the enemy and he is us.”

The big revelation within Revelation is that Armageddon, which takes place at the time of the Second Coming, symbolizes the denial and resistance that WE each put up to keep the Lord and His commandments out of our lives. The Great Red Dragon is not an over-sized reptile. It is a belief-system that falsifies God’s truth – such as the monstrous doctrine of salvation by faith alone!

One of the big purposes of my blog (besides unifying science and theology) is to find ways of demonstrating the reality of deeper meanings within the narratives of the Holy Word.

Are you a parable-pooper?

If so, why?

Why would you think a God of Infinite Wisdom is incapable of such a thing? How can the Word be God (John 1:1-3) if it is anything less than God’s Infinite Wisdom? The only way a finite book can contain Infinite Wisdom is if its words and stories contain multi-layered meanings. Having access to some of these levels would indeed show us the true glory of God!

Posted on January 14, 2009by thegodguy

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Scripture and the structure of reality

Those who have a faith-based worldview believe that God created the manifest universe. In fact, John 1:1-3 informs us that everything in the created world has its origins in the Holy Word.

If we contemplate John’s words rationally, rather than simply as a faith requirement, Scripture seems to be implying that the structure of the universe is patterned after the structure of God’s revealed wisdom.

Many physicists now believe that we live in a multi-dimensional or multi-leveled universe. As you move up this hierarchical ontological ladder, things are not only becoming more fundamental, they are becoming more abstract, expanded, non-local and non-physical.

In my upcoming book, Proving God, I argue that God’s Holy Word—which existed from eternity, was sent down from heaven, where its message found embodiment in the terrestrial words of human language. This divine order was the template for the multi-dimensional structure of the universe. Scientists call this order top-down causality.

Few theologians have considered the fact that if God’s Word came down from heaven, its original dynamics could not have been worldly, terrestrial, or physical. In other words, Scripture, on its most fundamental level, could not have described spatial qualities or physical events.

Heaven is certainly a non-spatial and non-physical realm. Therefore, for the Holy Word to exist in such a rarefied pre-space realm, before creation, it must have contained more abstract, expanded narratives with non-physical meanings. In fact, these higher meanings could ONLY treat of things referring to God’s holy qualities and the holy qualities of the Lord’s heavenly kingdom.

In the same way that energy and process can transition downwards into forms of stabilized matter, God’s Holy Word is a multi-dimensional document by which its primal sacred meaning descends into the constraints of time, space and matter, and its message takes on the appearance of a book containing literal history.

Reversing this top-down divine process through the human mind’s ability of symbolic abstraction while reading Scripture is what leads to spiritual enlightenment.

In other words, in the same way that matter and energy become more dynamic as the constraints of physical law are removed in higher levels of activity, the meanings of the stories in Scripture also become more dynamic when the constraints of the literal meanings of its words are removed.

That God intended for us to distill higher levels of meaning from the Holy Word is evidenced by the fact that Jesus spoke in parables only!

The Book of Revelation informs us that we will see the Lord in all His glory when He returns in the midst of clouds. If we remove the constraints of the literal meaning of the words “coming with the clouds” to its higher, psycho-spiritual equivalent, we will understand something deeper. Clouds symbolize mental obscurity.  God’s “return” will involve His breaking through our mental obscurity and doctrinal fog by revealing these higher levels of meaning to the human race.

The process of revealing these higher meanings is happening right now in the world. These higher meanings will shake things up for both scientists and theologians. The Second Coming is going to be an earth-shaking paradigm change.

Posted on December 6, 2008by thegodguy

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Heaven’s Biosphere

For science to be unified with religion, heaven will need to be understood and explored from both a scientific and faith-based perspective.

If heaven really exists, what kind of place can it be? Artwork depicts heaven as high up in the sky, above the clouds. This depiction of heaven does not pass scientific muster. No angels have been observed flitting about the clouds over earth. If you take the position that these are heavenly clouds, then angels live in a boring world of unending sensory deprivation.

Even on earth, paradise is described in Scripture as a beautiful garden, with trees, flowers, fruit, and animals of great variety. Without such things to behold and enjoy, the human mind suffers and languishes.

This has caused some to believe that when the Lord returns He will create a new heaven and new earth, and restore our physical bodies in a way that will be immune to the ravages of time. This is also seemingly confirmed by the Holy City, the New Jerusalem, descending from heaven.

But how can something from heaven float down as a fully-built city? How will we all squeeze into this one city and prime real estate, made of precious stones and pearls? How could such a city function without a sun or moon overhead? Are we talking about a Las Vegas-type of city here, with plenty of nightlife and lots of electric lights?

This is also in contradiction to the Lord’s ascending into heaven for the purpose of preparing many mansions for us. What building materials are at hand in the non-physical realm of heaven? Are there trees and stones in heaven? What resources would the Lord use to build such splendid places for out eternal habitation?

Perhaps, heaven is not a place at all! Perhaps its buildings, trees, and gardens are all psycho-topological. What would that mean?

It would mean that everything in the spiritual world is a holographic reflection of the various qualities of our heart and mind—our spiritual reality. Can our ideas, thoughts and feelings find their equivalence in non-physical flora and fauna?

Yes!

The knowledge of religious faith is like a heavenly seed planted by God that takes root in the soil of our mind. Faith then grows, branches and leafs out, blossoms, and finally bears fruit. Heaven’s landscape would then be the result of God’s gardening our inner world, producing a spiritual environment that mirrored one’s religious belief-system.

In the same way plants and trees create a perfect environment for animals, such an inner landscape of the spirit would attract new emotions and feelings, representing a new movement and animation within our hearts. We certainly describe the characteristics of people by using different animals. One can have the heart of a lion, act like a snake in the grass, be as sly as a fox, as gentle as a lamb, as strong as a bull, or as innocent as a dove.

Since our thoughts and emotions are who we REALLY are, these are the materials the Lord would use to create a heavenly environment and non-physical abode for us. Our spirit’s habitation would be formed out of the building materials of our faith—because this is where we inwardly live!

The fact that we organize our experiences and knowledge points to the reality of non-physical structure. The human race has evolved an intelligence and consciousness to internalize the world, and reconstitute its information according to our values. Religion is God’s strategy for extending the biosphere into a non-temporal and non-spatial world.

Religion offers the appropriate values for ensuring that one’s spiritual bio-complexity is organized according to heavenly order. What we love forms our spiritual bodies and our spiritual landscapes.

No one is sent to heaven or hell. We go inwards—where our heart is.

Posted on September 25, 2008by thegodguy

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