Christianity can be boiled down to three basic practices: (1) to be useful in life and act with care to our neighbor; (2) to acknowledge the divinity of God in our hearts; and (3), rules (1) and (2) must grow together. Neither one is substantial without the other. The marriage of rule (1) and (2) is the heavenly pattern that comes from the union of love and wisdom. Rule (one) relates to love and charity, and rule (two) to faith and wisdom. The degree to which each person has created concordance between rules (1) and (2) in their body, mind, and soul determines their state in the end. The concordance can also be stated as being between our internal and external self. The greater the harmony or authenticity between our internal and external self in the way we live rules (one) and (two), the more our soul becomes whole or in a heavenly form. Swedenborg writes:
The chief thing is to acknowledge the Lord, His Divine in the Human, and His Omnipotence in saving the human race…The Lord taught how they would be saved, namely, that they should receive Divine truth from Him; and this is received, when it is applied to, and implanted in, the life by doing it; therefore the Lord so often said, that they should do His words. From these considerations it is evident that these two things, namely, to believe in the Lord and to do His words, make one, and that they can by no means be separated; for he who does not the Lord’s words does not believe in Him (AE 328).
From what we have said I hope the reader can begin to see how this principle operates in life. Here is an organic way to visualize how rules (1) and (2) are inextricably married in use: The branches and leaves of a tree cannot survive if the tree does not have roots in the ground, and, conversely, the roots will not long survive if there are no branches and leaves. Another example is the symbiotic relationship between the heart and lungs. Each is a distinct system, but they work together in the human body to keep the body alive; neither can live without the other. The heart is the natural form that corresponds to love, and the lungs the natural form that corresponds to wisdom. They way the heart and lungs function together as distinct entities, but with one purpose in the whole is the natural correspondent to the spiritual union of love and wosdom.
Union is a reciprocal process of bonding. There is a bond of growth that takes place in our soul between doing good uses and acknowledging God. This opens an avenue to heavenly good and can become a bond with God. This process is constantly in flux from day to day, moment to moment as we work out problems and make choices in our relationships and work. To the degree we engage and delight in evil we block the Lord from bonding with us. He cannot bond with evil. It is a spiritual impossibility similar to the way magnets repel each other.
Lets look at some of the dynamics of the way rules (1) and (2) operate in life. When rules one and two are separate they lose their spiritual quality; they remain external actions for us, and no bond takes place. For instance, if we perform a good action such as giving food to the homeless, but do not in any inward level acknowledge the good of this action comes from God (which brings a quality of innocence and humility), it then can be good for others, but it is not particularly good for us. It is natural to seek credit for good things we do, so it doesn’t mean we are lost; learning this is developmental and takes time. As we become more oriented to thinking in the teams good, and eventually love the interest of another as much or more than our self, then the action becomes more spiritual. When we have nothing in us that acknowledges God our external and internal self are not acting together or in harmony, so there is no concordance. If we are not recognizing the source then we have no alternative but to believe it comes from our self. Problem is our self is full of hereditary evils from head to toe, which constantly inclines us toward evil. For instance some people believe in positive thinking which in itself is good, but do not acknowledge the source of this good at all. Such thinking is not spiritual. I am expressing the principle of the matter, the actual judgment of the person is up to God, for it may be even though they don’t express God as the source of good, the love of doing for another may contain an element of unconscious love for the source.
What is very important realize about keeping the two separate is that there is a level of avoidance in doing so. If we are not actively accepting Him, then we are actively avoiding Him. This is an intense truth we think we can get away from. We might be able to try for a time, but ultimately we cannot avoid it. The Lord said if you are not for me you are against me – there is no in between. God can be realized in life from three primary avenues: (1) the Word, (2) from nature, and (3) from the moral qualities inherent in human beings. If a person has no opportunity to see Him in the one then He can be seen in another. There is no-one who does not have the opportunity to come to the conclusion from one of these three that He is present to them in whatever form they are able to conclude. It is a matter of will to reject Him or accept Him in these moments. Non-acknowledgement (or avoidance) is an action just as much as acknowledgement is an action. To arrogate the position of being neutral is not possible with God. The decisions and actions of our lives are the minute binary that gradually accumulate – leading toward heaven or hell. Only God can truly judge the internal state in oneself and others. But we can also discern our internal state to a degree in by self-examination. We can also perceive the state of others and the world in some degree. Our state of perception is elevated to the degree with have love for others and love toward the Lord.
When we enter the spiritual world things become different. In the world of spirits good and evil, and truth and falsity, can co-mingle for a time, but each person is gradually prepared by the process of vastation (according to their own inclinations) to have a singular love in heaven or hell. In heaven and in hell the good and evil people do not, and cannot, co-mingle (except in rare times of dis-equilibrium). Swedenborg writes that since the second coming in order to enter heaven a person must be taught that the Lord alone is the divine human, the one God, and that He governs all of heaven; and only those who perceive this enter there. Anyone who has created concordance between rules (1) and (2) to a sufficient degree (known only by the Lord), will be able to receive this teaching from God’s angels whether they have known Him or not. In my understanding this doesn’t mean a person loses their spiritual orientation necessarily, but they do perceive the divine human as the one God. This shows how it is true that salvation is meant for all people of any orientation, and that Jesus is the only way to heaven. This is because the Lord is heaven, and to enter the atmosphere and light of heaven one must acknowledge in heart that He is the Lord. In the spiritual world anything or anyone that a person desires in heart to see, that person comes into the presence of. In the spiritual world one can only be in the presence of someone or something they have affinity with. In ‘the Last Battle’ C. S. Lewis tells a great story depicting this great truth