With light from the Lord comes greater creative activity, gifts of the spirit, and fulfillment. I believe this situation is described by Paul in detail in Ephesians; but, unless one meditates on the internal sense of this amazing scripture, the meaning is easy to pass by.
“But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. Wherefore he saith, when he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.
(Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)
And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive.
But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love”. (Eph 7-14).
This scripture demonstrates several points of our theme. First, the light from the Lord can be compared to the scientific dynamics demonstrated in natural light: to our vision light is white, but when sent through a prism it is shown to have particular and unique colors with innumerable gradations. Within the light and heat from Jesus (proceeding from Him as the spiritual sun) is contained wisdom, which, when received by humans is expressed as innumerable spiritual gifts, talents, and uses. To express wisdom is to express internalized and particularized gifts of use to others. These spring forth like a fountain from his divine soul to ours; this is expressed in the phrase, “But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ”. What is more, these uses and gifts are all utterly interrelated, just as every particular part of the human body is unique, and performs a use for (and depends on) all the rest of the parts of the body. This great truth is expressed in the phrase, “From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love”. Indeed as we have discussed before the whole of the universe is in the shape of the grand man or divine human. This is the foundation of the Christian belief that that we are all in the body of Christ; this is actually and spiritually true.
With the increased light from Jesus came the liberty of internal faculties, creative abilities, the expression of love and charity in community, and the potential to receive spiritual knowledge of God in heaven and earth. No longer did people have to be subject to the authority of the old church, no longer did they have to receive knowledge indirectly by representatives of religion, or to be subject to the external ways of society; if they chose they could be in immediate relationship with the Lord and strive to develop their gifts. It was still up to each person to fight for it; many still consumed themselves in material things and rejected the light. On earth, change is always gradual, but one can nevertheless plainly see the expansion of the Lord’s presence on the earth in several events after the resurrection. It can be seen in the epiphany, when the disciples and thousands of people suddenly received the Holy Spirit, which means they could personally experience and feel the presence of God; it continued with the early Christians, who were on fire with love for the Lord. Early Christians lived in a new community of brotherly love and were willing to suffer death gladly for their new faith. It is seen in the unwavering commitment of the disciples who had struggled so much before; but after the resurrection they expressed incredible gifts of prophecy, steadfastness and faith. The light of Christ can be seen further in the rapid growth of Christianity on earth to many nations. In can be scene in the emergence of the Holy Spirit. The Resurrection marked the arrival of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is not mentioned as existing until after the Resurrection. At Pentecost the Lord breathes on the disciples and they become whole and committed men.
The reader will recall how we discussed that the natural sun corresponds to the spiritual sun, and that the symbiotic equilibrium between the force of nuclear fusion and gravity in the natural sun corresponds to the Holy marriage in the spiritual sun, the marriage in the Lord being between his divine essence and His divine human (His risen body). It is from the Lord in the midst of the spiritual sun that all things in their infinite variety exist and originate; from Him proceeds love and wisdom that provides the infinite variety of life, and creates and sustains the life of all human beings. Similarly, scientists describe how suns are the mother of all life, that all physical life in the universe is built from elements made in the suns and sustained by the heat and light from the suns. By the glorification and resulting resurrection of Jesus the distribution of love and wisdom in all its variety was immensely expanded, and I believe this manifested in the form of spiritual gifts distributed to humanity as the Bible indicates. Now since the law of correspondences is universal to all nature, including astronomic phenomenon, if the things above are true, then it is logical that all other phenomenon involving suns in the universe have correspondence with the spiritual world. The case in point I seek is that of supernovas. Scientists say that supernovas produce all the elements in the universe from the highest to the lowest in their core moments before the supernova explosion takes place. All suns provide some of the lower elements like iron when they explode, but only the largest supernova’s produce the highest elements on the periodic table such as silver and gold. The reason only the large suns produce all the higher elements is that they possess much greater mass; with greater mass there is greater force of gravity, and thus supernovas produce much greater heat and pressure in their core. The scientist say the supernova is the largest single event in the universe next to the big bang. The explosion is so large that it distributes the elements produced in their core through large areas of their galaxy. Over time there are innumerable supernovas around the universe which distribute the elements to all the parts of the universe. The supernovas being of different character provide similar but varying qualities to the parts of the universe like the human body has different parts of varying uses that all work together. I posit that the treasures distributed by supernovas corresponds to the gifts distributed in the resurrection and the second coming as the scripture above describes. The scripture says of the resurrection “when he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things”; this description has the quality of an explosion: first there is an entering into the heart of darkness, (an implosion if you will) causing a transformation in the core reality, and then an explosion and expansion, and the distributing-out of freedom to express spiritual gifts. In the sun the scientists say that once fusion begins producing iron in its core the sun collapses in on itself, and the outward explosion is soon to come. They say such unimaginable power, heat, and energy are produced that all the higher elements are then forged in its core in a matter of moments before the explosion. Similarly, Jesus went through the crusible of darkness in the material world, and in the process of the Glorification confronted and defeated the deepest lair of all the forces of evil, and in doing so expressed the highest love (heat) ever to be. All the forces of hell were arrayed against Him to crush his spirit causing Him to cry out, “Lord take this cup away from me’, and to sweat blood, but He summoned greater power from within Himself for the triumph of love. The infinite treasures in the Lord, that is, the gifts of prophecy, teaching, ministry, leadership, artistic skill and all, were made free and given as gifts to the souls of people. The scripture describes how these qualities suddenly burst into the community of Christians, and to all humanity for the fulfillment of their life and use to each other; and for the building of the new church.
Metals are often talked about in the Bible and each has a correspondent meaning which deepens the correspondence I am speaking of. For instance Isaiah writes in regard to the Lord’s coming:
Instead of bronze I will bring gold, and instead of iron I will bring silver, and instead of wood, bronze, and instead of stones, iron. And I will make peace your assessment, and righteousness your tax-collectors (Isa. 60:17).
Swedenborg describes the correspondences of this verse:
Here it is evident what each metal means. The subject is the Lord’s Coming, His kingdom, and the celestial Church. ‘Instead of bronze, gold’ is celestial good in place of natural good; ‘instead of iron, silver’ is spiritual truth in place of natural truth; ‘instead of wood, bronze’ is natural good in place of bodily good; ‘instead of stone, iron’ is natural truth in place of truth acquired through the senses… The most ancient people compared the goods and truths present in man to metals. Innermost or celestial goods which flow from love to the Lord they compared to gold, truths deriving from these to silver. Goods of a lower or natural kind however they compared to bronze, and truths of a lower kind to iron. Nor did they just compare them; they also called them such. (A.C. n. 1551).
This shows the complete extent to which inner light was upgraded in souls of humanity by the coming of the Lord. To ‘make peace your assessment’ is a great developmental phrase which has to do with gaining inner strength through service to others. It means to develop inner skills which a persons makes their own by using them in life, and which bloom manifold when they enter the kingdom of God.
In the highest part of our soul God is in us, and by this we are always tethered to Him, and we are connected to each other and all things in a meaningful way by his providence and wisdom. This connection is beyond our normal conscious perception, but in certain seminal moments it can be felt and known, as many people have testified. After the resurrection because so much more light was avaliable this could felt much more readily. This is the Holy Spirit that was felt in people’s hearts and minds in the early church. He is the innermost, and what is the innermost is the most real, The Holy Spirit is the presence of the Lord.; a very real presence and comfort in our life, and that which guides us to face out evils so we can make room in our soul for good. This is why on the timeline of history the resurrection bursts like a sun. Because He came down and saved all humanity from certain destruction, and restored equilibrium in the internal structure of the universe, in the end, no man or woman can help but bow in heart to Him. For instance, there is something innate within us that honors a man in the military who jumps on a hand-granade to save the lives of those around him; we cannot help but see that he sacrificed his life for others, and we spontaneously feel humbled, thankful, love – all at once. How much more might we feel love for the Lord when we see what he has done? In the end all things and people are defined by their attitude toward the Lord whether they love Him or hate Him. Angels in heaven belong in a society according to the quality of humility and love they have toward Him, and the evil are in a place in direct proportion to their hate and rejection of Him. This is why I say that all lines of meaning lead to him. We are defined by our internal attitude toward the Lord. In a practical sense when the human mind seeks to make meaning – when our most creative people tell our greatest stories in movies, and art – they express some form of the Christ story of redemption; they tell again in a new way the theme of the captives released, of the enormous battle between good and evil, they tell of the darkness on earth and how individuals and communities emerge from it, they tell over and over again of the great hero that saves the world from destruction. (But this is a truth that would require a book of its own to substantiate, a book I intend to write at another time).