Live with less anxiety and more joy

WORRY CAN’T CHANGE OUR PAST OR FUTURE, BUT IT CAN RUIN THE PRESENT.

We choose the lenses with which we view the world. To correct our lens, though, we have to take steps to change:

Reflect on our attitude or perspective about a situation. When we see a negative pattern, take responsibility for avoiding that mindset. Realize that we have no power on our own. Pray to the Lord for His strength. Try to stop worrying. We have the ability, with the Lord’s strength, to meet any challenge. Use every opportunity to practice using this new lens. Remember that the kingdom of heaven is not out there, but within us.


When we learn to love and accept the situation we’re in, we find the power to change–not the situation–but our perspective.

Worry

During stressful times, when unpaid taxes still lie on the table, the children argue upstairs, and images of war flash across the news, hope and patience seem hard to come by. Worry seems inevitable. But how much can we really gain from our furrowed brow? Consider this quote: “Worry is like a good rocking chair. It gives you something to do, but it doesn’t get you anywhere.” Another way to think of the futility of worry is to imagine someone carrying around a suitcase of old junk that he doesn’t use. If he complained to you about his aching back, wouldn’t you suggest he drop the suitcase?

But we tend to do the same thing, feeling troubled, tired, and pulled off-balance. We hang on to our burden because (we think) something bad might happen if we let it go. But the answer is so easy. If we simply let go—if we trust in the Lord—we suddenly feel lighter.

We hear this same message from the Lord’s own mouth when He says to His disciples, “Do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat, nor about your body, what you will put on. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them…. Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these” (Luke 12:22–24).

If we try to take the Lord’s command seriously, and avoid the habit of worrying, we can make a distinct difference in our inner nature. In the Heavenly Doctrines given through Emanuel Swedenborg, the book Secrets of Heaven 8474 describes the type of people who worry about the future: “They are not content with their lot, do not trust in God but in themselves, and have solely worldly and earthly things in view, not heavenly ones. These people are ruled completely by anxiety for the future….”

The passage goes on to describe, on the other hand, the kind of people who trust in the Lord: “Those who trust in the Divine are altogether different…in that they are not anxious, let alone worried, when they give thought to the morrow… They know that for those who trust in the Divine all things are moving toward an everlasting state of happiness….”

Impatience

Whenever worry enters our minds, another emotion tends to tag along with it: impatience. Often we grow impatient by worrying that life won’t turn out the way we think it should. We may unconsciously say to ourselves, “The Lord can’t handle it, so I’m going to worry for Him.”

Consider the following Biblical story, where King Saul becomes impatient with the Lord’s command, and relies on his own judgment instead. The setting is this: the Philistines have accumulated a huge army, and Saul is waiting for Samuel to offer sacrifices so he can go into battle with the Lord as his ally. “[Saul] waited seven days, the time appointed by Samuel. But Samuel did not come to Gilgal, and the people were scattering from him. So Saul said, ‘Bring the burnt offering here to me, and the peace offerings.’” As soon as he had finished offering the burnt offering, behold, Samuel came” (I Samuel 13:8–11). When Samuel shows up, he’s not happy with Saul. He says, “You have done foolishly. You have not kept the command of the Lord your God, with which he commanded you. . . .now your kingdom shall not continue” (I Samuel 13:8–11, 13–14).

Just as Saul—when facing his enemies—worries about the risk of patiently following the Lord’s orders, we tend to feel the same way when we’re under pressure. We worry that if we follow the Lord’s way, it won’t turn out the way we want it to. Because of this impatience, worry, and lack of trust, Saul lost his kingdom. We also may lose out when we become impatient. Specifically, we lose:

Enjoyment of the situation. We think about being somewhere else or being with someone else, so we lose the delight of that moment. Infidelity thrives on this notion. Consider this quote: “A happy marriage is not about finding the right person. It’s about being the right person in the relationship.”

Forward spiritual progress. If we aren’t thinking about the present, we’re either worrying about the past or the future. We get concerned with time, and this skews our perception. We think physical, lower thoughts, and we forget higher matters. Worry can’t change our past or future, but it can ruin the present. When we dwell on the past or future, we lack motivation to make progress now.

Trust in the Lord. We begin to think the Lord isn’t managing the universe very well. Just as Saul lost the kingdom because he trusted his own agenda, when we trust in our own ideas, we make poor decisions. Scholar Christopher Syn wrote, “Anxiety springs from the desire that things should happen as we wish rather than as God wills.” This causes us to lose the kingdom—the happiness—the Lord wants us all to have.

So how can we achieve real patience, and gain back these things we’ve lost? First, we can make an effort to find contentment with what we have, and focus on being that person who is kind and loving rather than looking for that person elsewhere. Second, we can strive to make the best of our present situation, looking for opportunities to use our talents and reach out to others. And, finally, we can trust the Lord to bring good out of every situation, believing that what He says in His Word is true.

In his work, Secrets of Heaven (3827), Swedenborg explains how we can rise above impatience to an angelic state of love and acceptance, where time no longer matters: “When you are in a state of love…you are in an angelic state, that is to say, as if not in time…. For impatience is a bodily affection, and insofar as you are in it, so far you are in time…. By the affection of genuine love, we are withdrawn from bodily and worldly things, for our mind is elevated toward heaven and thus is withdrawn from things of time.”

In other words, if we focus on the fact that we’re not enjoying something, it becomes tedious. A student squirming in a class believes there’s somewhere else he needs to be. As soon as that bell rings, his whole world seems to change. But has it? We live in the world of our mind, our heart, our thoughts. A bell doesn’t change that world, but what we attach to that bell—our attitude—can change. Patience comes from being withdrawn from worldly things. When we learn to love and accept the situation we’re in, we find the power to change—not the situation—but our perspective. Because when we love something, we’re not paying attention to time.

Life is often compared to a journey. We can shuffle our feet and mope about the path we’re taking, but anxiety and impatience don’t change our speed or route. Instead, we can enjoy the scenery, confident that the direction of the stream of Divine Providence will steer us toward a more beautiful vista. So don’t waste today worrying. Cast your burden on the Lord. Take a glance at the flowers, or listen to the birds, and remember that the Lord is taking perfect care of each one of us, in every single moment.

By Rev. David Roth, pastor of the New Church of Boulder Valley in Colorado

This website contains a wealth of information about the New Church, and a practical, spiritual path to happiness. Read more about the beliefs of the New Church.

https://newchurch.org/

Full issue

The Opening of the Spiritual Mind

Lastchurch - The Eternal PurposeSelection from Apocalypse Explained ~ Emanuel Swedenborg

Something shall now be said about its [the spiritual mind’s] formation. The spiritual mind is formed from those things that are in man’s memory from the Word; for the memory is the storehouse … but these things are elevated therefrom in this manner:
First, there is given to man the affection of truth, which is called the spiritual affection of truth, which is that man loves truth because it is truth. This affection of truth is then given because when evils are removed man is in goods from the Lord, and good loves truth and truth good, and the two will to be conjoined. This affection is given by the Lord alone, because the Lord in heaven is Divine truth; and it is given by the Word, because the Lord in the church is the Word.

Secondly, those things that are from the Word in man’s storehouse … are drawn forth and purified by the Lord, and genuine truths are there discriminated and separated from falsities; for man’s spiritual mind can be formed only out of genuine truths, since heaven is in no other.

Thirdly, those truths are elevated by the Lord in a wonderful manner, and become spiritual; this is effected by the influx of heaven, and thus of spiritual things corresponding to natural; and these truths are there disposed into a heavenly form.

Fourthly, the truths that are elevated into the spiritual mind are not in a natural but in a spiritual form. Truths in a spiritual form are such as are in the spiritual sense of the Word, but truths in a natural form are such as are in the natural sense of the Word…. For this reason, when man after death becomes a spirit and his spiritual mind is opened, he no longer thinks and speaks naturally, but spiritually.

Fifthly, so long as man is living in the world he is wholly ignorant of what he thinks in the spiritual mind; he knows only what he thinks from that mind in the natural; but after death the state is changed, and he then thinks from the spiritual mind, and not from the natural.

(Apocalypse Explained 790:8)
April 16, 2017

What Do Your Cravings Say About You?

Swedenborg Foundation

by Morgan Beard

It’s human nature to crave things. Sometimes it’s as simple as, “Hey, I could go for some ice cream right now.” Sometimes it’s a deeper desire, like craving money or fame. It may not seem like anything unusual—after all, who doesn’t like something delicious to eat, and who couldn’t use a little extra cash? But Emanuel Swedenborg says that what we crave might reveal more about us than we think.

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What we crave sometimes tells us what we lack. If we’re craving specific types of food, our body might be telling us that we need more vitamins or other nutrients. A desire for sweets could mean that we need a pick-me-up from the jolt of energy and the feel-good chemical serotonin that comes with eating something sugary. On an emotional level, craving items that we don’t need might indicate stress or negative feelings—getting some new luxury can give us a little rush of pleasure. Or, on a less tangible level, craving attention can mean that we feel unloved or unappreciated.

Swedenborg writes, “Craving is love reaching out. Whatever we love we constantly crave, and it is our delight, since we feel delight when we get what we love or crave. There is no other source of our heart’s delight” (Heaven and Hell 570). From the context, it’s clear that love here means something broader than love for another person. He’s saying that when we love something, it fills us, and we seek out more of it.

This can work in good ways or not so good ones. For example, let’s say a woman grows up without a lot of money, goes to school, gets a good-paying job, and is suddenly able to buy herself all the things she never had. Her self-esteem goes up; she feels better about herself. She works to get more and more money until all she can focus on is making money so that she can keep feeling better. Swedenborg calls this “love of the world”—a situation where people keep chasing material pleasures and are never satisfied with what they have. That love of wealth, power, or whatever it is we’re chasing becomes a fundamental part of ourself, the core of our identity. And no matter what, we always crave more.

Let’s say that same woman who grew up without a lot of money but got educated and became a wealthy professional puts love of others over love of self. Now she donates money back to the community where she grew up and mentors kids growing up in limited circumstances to help them achieve career success. This is what Swedenborg calls “love for one’s neighbor”—when we focus on using what we have to help other people rather than helping ourselves. And again, he says, the more we do good, the more that we want to do good. We crave opportunities to help others.

People are complicated. All of us are capable of being selfish one day and selfless the next, and it can be hard to know if we’re on the right track, spiritually speaking. Are all of our actions adding up to a positive inner state or a negative one?

When Swedenborg writes, “craving is love reaching out,” he’s letting us know that just as our physical cravings can be an indicator of our body’s health, our emotional cravings give us a barometer for our spiritual state. Those little impulses, itching desires, and outright compulsions that strike us throughout the day are indicators of what is happening within us. The things we are pulled to do tell us which way our inner status—or our “ruling love,” in Swedenborgian terms—is leaning. The things we crave most often are the things that dominate us mentally and therefore spiritually.

But what if we find that we’re being drawn toward these selfish types of desires? Swedenborg says there’s a remedy for that: regeneration, the path to spiritual growth. You can read more about it here, or for a really in-depth discussion, check out this compilation of Swedenborg’s writings on the subject.

http://www.swedenborg.com/

God doesn’t make bad things happen

Do you wonder how God can allow so much evil and destruction in the world? When you face challenges in your own life do you wonder if God is there? Is there a reason things happen the way they do? Are you being cared for?

It is important to understand that God doesn’t punish people. God doesn’t will evil to anyone. God doesn’t hurt people. A family lost a child in a terrible accident. Two church leaders came to their door to offer their condolences. They said that they felt great pain for the family, but they also added, “This was God’s will,” and that, “we don’t always understand why God does what God does, but we must accept God’s will.” What a terrible thing to say! I’ve heard stories where this has happened to people, unfortunately more times than I can count. I don’t know where this idea came from. I’m sure it didn’t come from God.

God is pure love

God is pure love and never wishes harm to anyone. The idea that it is God’s will that bad things happen to people is not only misguided but potentially devastating. How can people love a God who wishes them ill or has hurt them? The New Church teaches that God wills only good for all his people. There is nothing more important to our Creator than for every one of us to have as much happiness and fulfillment as humanly possible. When bad things happen, God feels our pain, is very present with us, and works to bring out the best in a bad situation.

What we must remember is that God takes the long view. His goal is not to give us temporary and perhaps superficial and fleeting comfort in this world, but rather looks to our eternal welfare.

God Brings Good Out of Everything If We Let Him

bad-things-happenSwedenborg says it is impossible to see God’s Providence in the face, as it is happening, but that we can see it when we look back in reflection on the past. In other words, in times of crisis it is very hard to necessarily sense that God is present and working to bring good out of a bad situation. However, when we look back at such times we can often see the gentle hand of God at work.

Look at the horrible act of terrorism of September Eleventh, something so far from God’s will and even more horrible to be committed in God’s name. However, the love and charity that poured out of all people, not only in the United States, but around the world, was astounding!

The cynics say that this was temporary and fleeting, but didn’t a part of us change forever? Or, at the very least, did we not have that opportunity presented before us in this horrific time in our lives? God didn’t make this event happen or will it, but God didn’t abandon us. God was there in a huge way, working through the same human freedom and choice he gave those terrorists, but now the choice of thousands was love and compassion, and a resolve to rid the world of such hideous efforts.

In times of tragedy we may not be able to see immediately that God is there, leading us to peace and comfort, and so much more. However, we can rest assured that this world has been set up in such a way that all can be bent and turned toward good.

The choice for good is always present

God provides constantly that the choice for good is always present, and continually lifts us up from our pain and our doubt to freedom to live and love again. The real question is, can we trust this? Can we find the good, or at least pursue it, and allow the force of love and life to lift us up? When we do this we can heal and even grow. And this growth is eternal.

There is an invisible and gentle current in each one of our lives that can peacefully carry us to happiness and heaven. It is always there for us, whenever we want to let go and trust the way. Even in what might appear as the worst of times, that stream is flowing and can carry us to all things blessed. We can trust that we are being cared for, that our eternal happiness is the most important thing God has in mind for us, and that all of creation flows toward this end. Our choice is to believe this, accept it, and freely choose it. Wade into the stream. Relax, and enjoy the ride.


This article was edited from Grant Schnarr’s book, You Can Believe. For more on this subject, see the New Church Connection issue of “Why do bad things happen”, as well as the book Why Does God Let It Happen? by Bruce Henderson.

NEW CHURCH BELIEFS

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DAILY INSPIRATION

“[Love for the Lord] opens the deeper levels of the mind.”

Heaven and Hell 271

Science, Religion and Enchantment

I belong to a growing group of individuals who are seriously interested in trying to unify science and theology. Certainly, if God created the world, He knows what quantum physics is.

I am attempting to show in my next book, Proving God, that the scientific laws of the universe have their origins in God’s laws of Divine LOVE.

It will be beneficial to describe to you the current state of affairs, as simply as possible.

Physicists now believe that fundamental reality consists not of physical “stuff,” but of pure potentials, called quantum possibilities. These possibilities, or tendencies to exist, represent dynamics that do not fit into classical descriptions of motion. A quantum entity can be in many places at once, almost as though it were a non-physical wave representing a range of possibilities striving to find tangible physical existence.

So nature, at its fundamental level, is a world of striving and pure endeavor. The wonderment in all this is that when quantum potentials become real events in time and space, they create coherent and stable structures. These structures gain in complexity over ages and ages until nature has brought forth the human brain with all its intelligent functions and profound self-awareness.

Science refuses to see this process of moving from potentiality to actuality, from actuality to stable structure, from stable structure to complexity, from complexity to consciousness as purposeful. At the quantum level, they believe reality consists of irreducible chance. This is because science feels it must describe reality from physical principles only (naturalism). Scientists will even concede that if reality has emerged from a metaphysical principle, then the mystery of agency in the universe will not be considered a real scientific topic.

So science is not necessarily as concerned with truth as it is with finding materialistic models that will offer predictable and testable explanations.

Traditional religion, while believing that the universe has its origins in a metaphysical principle, still offers us little help here. Religion concerns itself with God’s laws of salvation and God’s covenant with humanity. Current theology offers few rational insights as to how the laws of salvation or spiritual evolution might be connected to physics. God simply creates one set of laws to run the physical universe and another set of laws to save our souls. This thinking is as equally wrong as scientific thinking.

The only way to unify science and religion is to find a similarity between physical nature and God’s nature. Dissimilarity points to imperfection. But if God is Infinite Love and Infinite wisdom, no imperfection can be predicated of God. Besides, the ubiquitous law that nature always proceeds in the most economical way requires a top-down causal link between God’s nature and physical nature. (Unless you favor deism and believe in an impersonal Creator.)

Since we have been discussing fundamental reality from both a scientific and theological perspective I would now like to jump into the mind of a child who sees reality as enchanted. We often see children drawing pictures where they put a “smile” on the face of the sun. Children see everything in the world as being “alive.” That is why children respond to stories where animals, trees, and even rocks can talk.

As Jesus pointed out, we must become more like little children. While this refers to the spiritual challenge of adults returning to a state of innocence, the Lord is not implying that we should also abandon intellectual pursuits. Getting to heaven is not a move away from an intellectual grasp of the ultimate reality, but to be enlightened by it.

A scientist sees fundamental reality as being dead. A child sees reality as fundamentally alive. Who is more enlightened?

If a living God is at the center of the universe then the universe must, at its very heart, be alive! This is why the laws of the universe are so bio-friendly. The laws of nature have emerged from, and are analogous to, God’s Divine Nature. This Divine Nature is Infinite LOVE!

Can the dynamics of LOVE represent an exact science? Yes!

As I stated above, physicists see fundamental reality as a striving, or propensity. Love is also a propensity and endeavor, but it is a conscious, living endeavor. Scientists also say that quantum possibilities “collapse” into stable forms of matter, which lead to greater complexity and ultimately to larger scales of organized systems (unities). Love also seeks to unify things in the same way nature pursues a course of self-organization.

In this century, humanity will come to understand that LOVE is the creative psychical force and ultimate formative substance of the world, and the reason why everything in the universe is non-spatially and non-temporally interconnected.

This is just a small taste of what I will be covering in my soon to be published book, Proving God.

Posted on December 3, 2008by thegodguy

http://www.provinggod.com

Posted in god, love, metaphysics, Reality, religion, science, spirituality, symbolism, unity | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Natural Mind is Formed by the Lord ‘by means of’ The Spiritual Mind

Lastchurch - The Eternal Purpose

 Selection from Apocalypse Explained ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
When a man’s spiritual mind has been opened and formed then the Lord forms the natural mind; for man’s natural mind is formed by the Lord by means of the spiritual mind; and for the reason that man’s spiritual mind is in heaven, and his natural mind is in the world; for it is only from heaven, and when communication and conjunction with heaven have been effected, that the natural can be formed to the idea of such things as are in heaven. This formation is effected by the Lord by an influx out of the spiritual mind into the natural, by means of which the things that are in the natural mind are so arranged as to correspond to those that are in the spiritual mind. (This correspondence is treated of in many places in the Arcana Coelestia, and also in the work on Heaven and Hell.) These things that are in the natural mind out of the spiritual are called rational truths, moral truths, natural truths, and in general, truths of knowledge [vera scientifica]; while the goods that are in the natural mind out of the spiritual are called affections and desires for those truths, and for thinking about, speaking about, and doing those truths from such affections, and these are in general called uses. All those things that are in the natural mind out of the spiritual mind come under man’s intuition and into his perception.

It is to be known that this formation of the two minds with man goes on from his infancy to his old age, and afterwards to eternity; and sometimes from the middle age of man to his last age, and afterwards to eternity; but still in another way after the life in the world than during the life in the world. And as man is formed, so is he perfected in intelligence and wisdom, and becomes a man. For no man is a man from his natural mind; from that he is rather a beast;but he becomes a man through intelligence and wisdom from the Lord, and so far as he is intelligent and wise he is a beautiful man and an angel of heaven. But so far as he rejects, suffocates, and perverts the truths and goods of the Word, thus of heaven and the church, and therefore rejects intelligence and wisdom, so far he is a monster and not a man, because he is so far a devil. From this it can be seen that man is not a man from his parents, but from the Lord, of whom he is born and created anew. This, therefore, is regeneration and a new creation.

(Apocalypse Explained 7,8)
April 17, 2017

Are Married Couples Still Married in the Afterlife?

Swedenborg Foundation

by Morgan Beard

It’s a common belief across many cultures that people in love will be reunited after death, and people who have had near-death experiences consistently describe deceased friends and family being there to greet the newly departed. For a couple who is married, or deeply in love, it can be a wonderful promise . . . or the source of some awkward questions. What if one spouse dies and the living one remarries? What if your relationship wasn’t happy and you don’t want to see your spouse again? What if you’re in love with someone but not interested in marriage? What if a person never finds “the one” at all?

blog_heavenly_marriage

Over the course of decades, Emanuel Swedenborg had the extraordinary experience of traveling back and forth between this world and the next; and he wrote detailed accounts of the things that he saw and heard there. It’s up to his readers to decide if they believe him or not; but for those who do, he offers a unique perspective on marriage in the afterlife.

Swedenborg describes seeing married couples reunited after death. But did they stay together eternally? Well . . . maybe:

It often happens that married partners meet [in the afterlife] and welcome each other joyfully. They stay together as well, but for a longer or shorter time depending on how happily they had lived together in the world. Ultimately, unless they had been united by real marriage love (which is a union of minds from heavenly love), they separate after having been together for a while. (Heaven and Hell 494)

This is where Swedenborg departs from the popular view of love in the afterlife: he says that if two people who were together in life weren’t really in love, then they won’t be together in heaven either. Swedenborg describes incompatible couples as gradually growing farther and farther apart. Each is attracted to people with whom they have more in common: “Like are drawn toward like.” However, if two people are truly in love, they will grow closer to each other in heaven.

If people in the afterlife find themselves incompatible with their former partners, or if they never experienced that kind of deep love while on earth, Swedenborg says, they can find their match in heaven:

Throughout heaven, people who are similar gather together and people who are dissimilar part company. This means that every community consists of like-minded people. Like are drawn toward like not by their own will but by the Lord. In the same way, spouse is drawn toward spouse when their minds can be united into one. So at first sight they love each other most deeply, see each other as married partners, and enter into their marriage. This is why all of heaven’s marriages are the work of the Lord alone. (Heaven and Hell 383)

What does it mean to be truly in love? Many people have many different definitions, but Swedenborg has a term for it—marriage love (or, in older translations, conjugial love). This is a huge topic in his theological writings, and if you want to explore it in detail, check out this episode of our weekly webcast. But in a nutshell, for Swedenborg, marriage love means a spiritual union of souls. According to him, the earthly institution of marriage isn’t the same thing as a spiritual marriage; and the experience of being in love with someone doesn’t necessarily equate to the kind of compatibility needed to bond on the level of the soul. To really understand what he means by marriage requires a quick theological detour.

Swedenborg often expresses spiritual principles in binary: Love and wisdom. Good and truth. Will and understanding (or, in some translations, volition and discernment). Throughout his writings, he often associates these characteristics with specific genders; he might say, for example, that wisdom is masculine and love is feminine. That doesn’t mean that only men can be wise and only women can love. Rather, he’s describing a type of complementary energy that’s very similar to the Chinese concept of yin and yang. In Chinese thought, yin (receptive energy) is feminine and yang (projective energy) is masculine. Although that principle is sometimes applied very literally to men and women, philosophically what’s being described are two complementary types of energy that are in their most ideal state when they are joined together in perfect balance.

For Swedenborg, this is the essence of marriage love—two complementary forces or energies merging into one, and he frequently emphasizes the importance of balance between the two, with neither one dominating the other. When discussing concepts like love, good, and will, he’s describing a motive force or energy—something that pushes us into action or guides and supports us when we feel lost. Principles like wisdom, truth, and understanding, on the other hand, are all about structure; it’s about gathering the knowledge and developing the perception to take that positive energy and direct it where it will do the most good. Neither one of these principles will work properly without its other half.

So a spiritual marriage happens when two people who embody these complementary ideas come together, each bringing different perspectives to the union but at the same time like-minded in their goals and values. Although Swedenborg stresses that only two people can share this state at any one time, he leaves open the possibility that we might have more than one potentially right partner—in other words, that it’s not a matter of finding the one person in all the universe who’s right for you, but just a matter of finding a person who’s right for you. And once partners have chosen each other, he adds, their love brings them closer and closer in the afterlife until they appear to be a single person.

For those who aspire to spiritual union with another person, Swedenborg cautions that true marriage love is very rare in this world. While he stresses that people who are married on earth should respect their vows as a sacred obligation, he also says that most people (married or not!) don’t achieve an ideal state until they cross into the afterlife—and maybe not even then. He describes a diverse heaven where the differences between people help to create a greater perfection. People who would rather live alone can do so forever if they like, but people who want a spiritual union can always find that too.

How do you imagine your ideal companion?

http://www.swedenborg.com/

For more on what happens after we die and people we might meet in heaven, check out The Lives of Angels, a volume of excerpts from Swedenborg’s writings. His longest work on the subject of earthly and spiritual marriage is Conjugial Love (or, for a more modern translation, Love in Marriage).