What do you intend?

It is a simple question to ask. However, it is a difficult question to answer. It is the greatest “loaded” question that you can expose yourself to. It goes directly to the heart of all that matters—your life.

Your intention focuses conscious attention (through what is harmonious) and arranges the information in your memory into a coherent system of values. Scientifically speaking, your intention acts like a first principle, which orchestrates all mediate causes into your final worldly effects and deeds (one’s fruitfulness). Science is actually finding physical evidence that intention creates new pathways and connections among neurons (brain cells).

Theologically speaking, what we intend is the true life of our inner spirit. All true religion refers to your intention—this is what God is most interested in and seeks to modify, bend, or promote. Even ancient pagans like the Greek philosophers coined the phrase “know thyself.” Studying the world makes you knowledgeable but studying yourself can make you wise. Wisdom is the highest form of knowledge.

The answer to the question “what do you intend” is the only way to monitor your life in a sincere way—because it can only be asked and answered in a sincere way!

If you answer the question I have posed above and honestly compare it with what you already know about wisdom, love, civility, morality and goodness you will find your true spiritual game plan for procuring a heavenly life.

Simply ask yourself—are you (and your intention) a blessing to the world?


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Nunc Licet It is now permitted

Lastchurch - The Eternal Purpose



A Memorable Relation from
Containing the universal theology of the New Church
foretold by the Lord in Daniel 7:13-14 and Revelation 21:1-2

Emanuel Swedenborg

      One day there appeared to me a magnificent temple, square in form, the roof of which was crown-shaped, arched above and raised round about; its walls were continuous windows of crystal; its door was of a pearly substance. Within, on the south side, towards the west was a pulpit, on the right-hand side of which lay the open Word enveloped in a sphere of light, the splendor of which surrounded and illuminated the whole pulpit. In the center of the temple was a sanctuary, before which there was a veil, at that time raised, and there a golden cherub stood with a sword turning hither and thither in his hand.

      [2] While I looked at these things, the significance of each one of them flowed into my meditation: The temple signified the New Church; the door of pearly substance, entrance into it; the windows of crystal, the truths that enlighten it; the pulpit, the priesthood and preaching; the Word lying open upon the pulpit and illuminating the upper part of it, signified the revelation of the internal sense of the Word, which is spiritual; the sanctuary in the center of the temple signified the conjunction of that church with the angelic heaven; the golden cherub therein, the Word in the sense of the letter; the sword waving in his hand signified that this sense can be turned in any direction, provided it is done in adaptation to some truth; the veil before the cherub being raised, signified that the Word is now laid open.

      [3] Afterward, when I drew nearer, I saw this inscription above the door, Nunc Licet – It is now permitted – which signified that it is now permitted to enter understandingly into the mysteries of faith. From seeing this inscription it came into my thought that it is exceedingly dangerous to enter with the understanding into dogmas of faith that are concocted out of self-intelligence, and therefore out of falsities, and still more so to confirm them from the Word; by this means the understanding is closed above, and gradually below as well, to such a degree that theology is not only despised but also obliterated from the mind, as writing on paper is by worms, or the wool of a garment by moths. Then the understanding abides only in political matters, which have regard to man’s life under the government where he is, and in the civil matters pertaining to his employment, and in the domestic affairs of his own house. And in all these things he constantly kisses nature, and owing to the allurements of her pleasures, loves her as an idolater loves the golden image in his bosom.

      [4] Since then, the dogmas of the present Christian churches have not been formed from the Word, but from self-intelligence, and therefore from falsities, and also have been confirmed by certain passages from the Word; by the Lord’s Divine Providence the Word among the Roman Catholics has been taken from the laity, and among Protestants has been opened, and yet has been closed by their common declaration that the understanding must be held in obedience to their faith.

      [5] But in the New Church the contrary is the case; there it is permitted to enter with the understanding and penetrate into all her secrets, and to confirm them by the Word, because her doctrines are continuous truths laid open by the Lord by means of the Word, and confirmations of these truths by rational means cause the understanding to be opened above more and more, and thus to be raised into the light in which the angels of heaven are. That light in its essence is truth, and in that light acknowledgment of the Lord as the God of heaven and earth shines in its glory. This is what is meant by the inscription Nunc Licet over the door of the temple, and also by the veil of the sanctuary before the cherub being raised. For it is a canon of the New Church, that falsities close the understanding, and that truths open it.

      [6] After this I saw above my head something like an infant, holding in his hand a paper. As he drew near to me, he increased to the stature of a medium-sized man. He was an angel from the third heaven, where all at a distance look like infants. When he came to me, he handed me the paper; but as the writing was in rounded letters, such as they have in that heaven, I returned the paper, and asked him to explain to me the meaning of the words there written, in terms adapted to the ideas of my thought.

      He replied, “This is what is here written: Enter hereafter into the mysteries of the Word, which has been heretofore shut up; for the particular truths therein are so many mirrors of the Lord.”


(True Christian Religion 508)

Mike Cates   PO Box 292984   Lewisville, TX  75029  Article Site Map  Writing Site Map

Creativity in spirituality

by Rev. David Lindrooth

Right in the very beginning of the Bible we have a statement about creativity and why it’s so important and relevant in our lives. In Genesis, it says, “God created humanity in his own image.” (Genesis 1:27) That means every person was created in his image. If we are in his image, and God created us, isn’t part of his image being creative? It makes a lot of sense. We believe in a human God. To be human means to be in God’s image because God is the quintessential human. Part of being human is learning to be creative. It’s our permission to be creative. When I think about this, I get goosebumps.

How does God’s model of creativity work in our lives?

“Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” (Luke 6:38)

It’s as simple as just making an effort.

We were talking about this in a sermon writing team, and someone said, “The way I conceptualize it is that you just make space for God to come into your life and watch what happens.” I was amazed to hear that.

A while back I started experimenting with my preaching style. I realized that if I was intentionally praying for God to crack open that spiritual door so that light could shine into my preaching, amazing things would happen. Just open the door and incredible things start to happen. Oddly enough, it feels like it isn’t me. It’s like this painting experience where I’m working on a picture and all of a sudden there’s a person staring at me and I’m thinking, “Who is this person?” It’s a wonderful feeling. The same thing can happen with preaching, with engineering, with planning a date. It can happen on a hospital visit or in a conversation with a friend. It can happen when you’re unloading the dishwasher. Believe it or not, creativity can happen whenever we ask for it, and start making space for the Lord to be present.

I want to reference Steve Jobs. He’s not renowned for his theology, and he is somewhat of a problematic character in some respects, but he did give us the iPhone and he worked with some very creative people. Steve Jobs had remarked at one point that he noticed when working with creative people that those people didn’t feel like they could take credit for anything they came up with. They almost felt embarrassed or a sense of discomfort if someone praised them for coming up with a magnificent invention. Steve reflected on this and realized that the creative process isn’t the human being creating something out of nothing. This is reflected in New Church theology – the idea that nothing can come from nothing.

Creativity really is somebody observing, thinking, and being able to make connections between different concepts, different objects, and different ideas. Then, that new grouping of what’s already out there becomes the creative moment. It can become a new product or a new painting or something nobody has ever seen before. That to me is an accurate reflection of New Church theology about creativity, and it’s worth thinking about.

The way I see it working spiritually is that God puts affections in our hearts. That is a gift exclusively from God. These affections are so deep and so spiritual they can’t possibly be called our own even though they feel like our own. Angels have them in heaven, we have them here on earth, and it’s a wonderful, wonderful gift that God gives us: the ability to feel things. It’s actually those affections, the more they’re connected with God, that are making the connections between different ideas and different thoughts and allowing the connections to come up so that we see them in a different way. And behold, there is a new creation. We are not creating it ourselves. It is a work of God that is coming through us. And yes! We are suddenly acting and operating in the image and likeness of God. So it’s a “give and it will be given to you” kind of experience.

Part of the message is making space for God, being willing to make that space. But when he comes do you have the courage to do something? Do you have the willingness to bring it out? To allow it to change the world? Because God is constantly there, and he is constantly filling us with his life and creativity. It’s something that is always there. All we have to do is open up to it. As for me, I don’t actually care if I’m well regarded as a painter. My hope is to be comfortable just allowing that creative process to happen in my life. How can this creative process be brought into your life?

This passage reminds us who God is and what he’s constantly doing:

“Since divinity is inexhaustible splendor, would it simply keep it all to itself? Could it keep it to itself? Love wants to share what it has with others, to give to others what it can.” (Emanuel Swedenborg, DP 324)

That really is the creative process at work in a person’s life, that we open ourselves up to that love. We experience it in some concrete way through making connections with ideas and thoughts, and formulating a new awareness that never existed before. And then we have the courage to share.

Steve Jobs is credited with saying, “The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.” Are you crazy enough to think you can change the world? Creativity is to be willing to change and have the courage to change because God is giving you something different to communicate. And it could be as simple as standing in a room, and hearing a message where God is saying, “Walk across the room and introduce yourself to that person over there.” That is an act of creativity.

When we’re willing to listen to those messages and act differently because there is this gift within, the world begins to change. Imagine if you wipe that all away, and everyone is a conformist and nobody wants to step out of line, nobody wants to say anything different or do anything that would draw attention to themselves or anything like that. Then you have a flatline culture. Nothing different. Yet change in our world is so desperately needed.

Maybe it starts with a painting. Maybe it starts with writing a letter. Maybe it starts with doodling. Maybe it starts with redecorating your home or just choosing a pair of pants, or whatever. Those are small things, but it starts with learning to listen to that challenging voice from God that helps us build a better world. And God calls us to be in his image and his likeness so that each of us can act individually to help bring his life into this world in a new way. And through that individualistic action over and over and over again, God brings ability, perfection, joy and a sense of peace that no one can experience on their own. It’s a sense of communal articulation of God himself. And that is deeply joyful. So start with the small things. Start today. Start tomorrow. Just create that space to listen. What is that voice from God in your mind? What do you hear and how can you act on that in a way that creates beauty in this world?


The above was extracted from a sermon delivered by David Lindrooth at NewChurchLIVE. To watch the full sermon, click on the video in the sidebar.

David Lindrooth is the director of General Church Outreach, supporting the international growth of the New Church. He also enjoys painting water colors and playing guitar.


“The Lord from eternity who is Jehovah came into the world to subjugate the hells and to glorify His Human; and without this, no mortal could have been saved, and those are saved who believe in Him.”

True Christian Religion 2

Starting Science From God

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Theism is the belief that God is the creator and sustainer of the world, and hence of all life and activity within the world, yet in a way whereby the world is as if active from itself

Physics and psychology want to know the causes of natural and mental things.

New book: Starting Science from God.
Links theism (religion) to science (psychology and physics) without reduction.

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Many of us these days sense there is something real beyond the scope of naturalistic science. But what? Must mental and religious lives always remain a mystery and never become part of scientific knowledge?

In this well-argued book, physicist Ian Thompson makes a case for a ‘scientific theism’. He shows how a following of core postulates of theism leads to novel and useful predictions about the psychology of minds and the physics of materials which should appear in the universe. These predictions constitute a kind of ‘theistic science’. It meshes surprisingly well with the structure of reality already revealed by modern quantum field theory and by theories of developmental stages in human minds.

The result is a serious look at a promising new rational structure encompassing theology, psychology and physics.

An integration of science and religious theism
into a science of theism (theistic science),
in which both sides keep their strengths,
and are firmly and logically linked together.

starting science from God

Unique explanatory advantages of this book:

  • Presentation of a science of theism in a realistic manner with explanatory and predictive power.
  • Philosophical account of ‘substance’ in terms of persistent underlying propensities
  • Recognition and many examples of ‘multiple generative levels’ in physics and psychology.
  • Presentation of the basis of theism as the consequence of One God existing who is being itself & unselfish-love itself & wisdom itself.
  • Principles in more detail:
    1. God is love which is unselfish and cannot love only itself.
    2. God is wisdom as well as love and thereby also power and action.
    3. God is life itself: the source of all dispositions to will, think and act.
    4. Everything in the world is a kind of image of God: minds and also natural objects.
    5. The dispositions of an object are those derivatives of divine power that accord with what is actual about that object.
  • Describes an honest, welcoming and living theism
  • No reductionist or ‘nothing but’ explanations of God, spirituality or mentality.
  • Prediction that minds exist with spiritual loves, mental thoughts and physical actions within an integrated complex.
  • Prediction of internal structure of minds: thoughts of love, of thought and of action.
  • Prediction of internal structure of physical degrees: principles of effects (pregeometric physics), propagation of effects (field  theories), and of final affects (quantum mechanics leading to actual selections)
  • Prediction of relations between the mental and the physical
  • Prediction of relations between the divine and the spiritual+mental: that we receive life according to those actions our loves have made in the past.
  • Prediction of spiritual degrees not in terms of expansion/ elevation/ vibration/ dimensions/ nondualism of consciousness, but in terms of principal loves.
  • Why progressive evolution of physical forms is necessary to make living & thinking beings like humans.
  • Gradual biological, psychological and spiritual build-up is necessary in general, as there are no instant adults.
  • That evolutionary fitness must be selected not only naturally, but also theistically according to reception of life from the divine.
  • The consciousness is the joint action of love and wisdom. It is not itself causal, but is the operation of spiritual and mental causality.
  • That permanent spiritual growth depends on those actions our loves have made with wisdom/faith in the past.
  • That some formal modeling is possible within this scientific theism

About Me



Online Course

Rational Scientific Theories from Theism

Foundations of Theistic ScienceThe Theory of Spirit, Mind and Nature from Theism.
Approaches through
Physics, Biology, Psychology, Philosophy,
Spirituality, Religion
, Theology

to Beginning to see
Basic Principles

with Consequences for

Nature,   Evolution,   Mind,   Bible Meanings  and  Dualism.
 Online Resources, Site Information, Blog

http://www.TheisticScience.org Author: Ian J. Thompson, revised 08/13/2015 11:04:47 Email: IanT at TheisticScience.org





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Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772)

Scientist, Philosopher and Spiritual Explorer

A noted Swedish scientist, philosopher and theologian, best known for his later writings, in which he presents ideas both Christian and ecumenical, for a new spiritual era or “new church” to be known as the New Jerusalem.


Swedenborg’s contribution to science

Swedenborg’s theology and spirituality


Spiritual and religious movements related to Swedenborg






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We know, in a general sense, what “false” means. It’s the wrong answer on a “true or false” test; it’s saying 2+2=5; it’s saying that the sky is green and the clouds are orange.

That simplicity, however, comes from applying the idea of “truth” to simple, concrete facts. It gets much trickier when we try to apply the idea to the things we love and feel.

Consider, for instance, the idea that “you’ve got to look out for yourself, because no one else is going to.” Is that true- It feels true in a way, and seems to apply to a lot of real-world situations. To some degree, no matter how high-minded we might be, we have to take care of ourselves if we’re going to be any good to anyone else. But if we take that idea and make it central to our lives, will it help us be loving people- Or will it encourage selfishness, which is pretty strong in most of us anyway- Clearly the answer is the latter.

Swedenborg would label that a “falsity,” because it is ultimately a description of how to be selfish. “Love your neighbor as you love yourself” would, by contrast, be labeled a “truth” because it is a description of how to be caring and kind. Basically, statements describing or springing from love of the Lord and love of the neighbor are “truth” and those springing from love of self or love of worldly things are “falsity.”

You might wonder why that is. The fact that “look out for yourself” is selfish doesn’t make it necessarily untrue; it’s a selfish world!

But in Swedenborg’s theology, the universe and reality itself are direct products of the Lord’s infinite love, and are thus ultimately expressions of love. The only reason selfishness exists is that the Lord created us with freedom, which includes the ability we have to reject His love and turn it toward ourselves instead. The Lord’s every intention and purpose is to get us turn away from ourselves and toward Him; if we do that, reality can fulfill its loving purpose.

True reality, then, is completely loving, and expressions that reflect and support that loving nature are “true” – they are aligned with reality in its purest, greatest and intended form. Statements that reject and deny that loving nature are “false” because they are contrary to reality’s true form.

But there’s an argument: Couldn’t someone use the idea that “you’ve got to look out for yourself, because no one else is going to” to become strong and self-reliant, in a better position to help others, and use it to be a better person- Yes, they could ᾢ ideas that are essentially false can at times be used for good purposes. In a broad application, religious systems can have false ideas about the Lord, but still lead people to good lives and ultimately to heaven. On the flip side, ideas that are essentially true can be used for evil purposes (“love thy neighbor” could prompt giving aid to someone engaged in evil, for instance). “Truth” only becomes truly real when it is married to the desire for good; “falsity” only becomes truly real when it is married to the desire for evil.

(References: Apocalypse Explained 734; Apocalypse Explained 526 [1-2]; Conjugial Love 428; Divine Providence 318; The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 171)


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