This article explores a further and deeper understanding of how Jesus redeemed humanity. It attempts to explicate how it is that the union Jesus achieved in him self was absolutely necessary in saving humanity by actually restoring the body to soul communication in individuals which is the very means of having a relationship with God (Jesus). It would be best to read preparatory articles before this one because this subject brings together many principles; such as ‘universal nature of the human form’, the ‘purpose of John the Baptist’, ‘the glorification’, ‘remains’, and ‘the renewal of all things’. In studying these matters one can really tell that you are gaining awareness when you can see how the major themes relate to and are a consequence of each other. You may also actually feel light coming into your heart and mind.
Swedenborg makes a statement that is an extraordinary secret of heaven that I would like to seek to understand. He writes:
The passion of the cross was the extremity of the Lord’s temptation, by which He fully united His Human to His Divine and His Divine to His Human, and thus glorified Himself. This very union is the means by which those who have the faith in Him which is the faith of charity, can be saved. For the supreme Divine Itself could no longer reach to the human race, which had removed itself so far from the celestial things of love and the spiritual things of faith, that men no longer even acknowledged them, and still less perceived them. In order therefore that the supreme Divine might be able to come down to man in such a state, the Lord came into the world and united His Human to the Divine in Himself; which union could not be effected otherwise than by the most grievous combats of temptations and by victories, and at length by the last, which was that of the cross.  Hence it is that the Lord can from His Divine Human illumine minds, even those far removed from the celestial things of love, provided they are in the faith of charity… It is the Lord’s Divine Human which illuminates both the sight and the understanding of the spiritual; which would not take place if the Lord had not united His Human Essence to His Divine Essence; and if He had not united them, man in the world would no longer have had any capacity of understanding and perceiving what is good and true, nor indeed would a spiritual angel in heaven have had any… The very plane into which that light can operate, or the receptacle of that light, is the good of faith, or charity, and thus conscience. (AC 2776)
Even in just reading this my soul lights up like a firefly. It is not just that the Lord provided redemption by subjugating hell and putting heaven into order, but that His consciousness paved the way in the psyche of individuals and humanity to be able to find and enter a state of enlightenment. It is the union the Lord achieved that illumines the minds of all people who seek sincerely, but those who do not pursue this inner desire to seek close themselves to this illumination. By illumination is meant that Jesus made it possible for people to once again have the internal skill to love in useful ways for each other. By undergoing the glorification process, which was the gradual union of His divine soul with His body (and thus making His human divine in the resurrection) Jesus restored the body-mind-soul communication in all humans and humanity that is necessary to enter heaven. Without Jesus doing this humans would have become utterly external and lost in abysmal darkness.
The union that the Lord achieved between the His divine human and divine soul was totally specific in every detail and became totally universal throughout the universe (and spiritual world) in every minutest detail. This is because the whole of the universe, structurally and relationally, is in the form of a man, the grand man – Jesus Christ. All the infinite processes in His human form are perfected on every level between the natural and material to spiritual and highest heaven. Every human being is a micro to His macro; both being in the human form except He is infinite and we are finite. By rebuilding the union within himself from the material world He made it possible for all humans to again receive heavenly wisdom, or be illumined. This is an overall cosmic picture of how He paved the way in the psyche of humans to reconnect to heaven. This is how Jesus saved mankind, but man is still free to accept it or reject it.
The union in Jesus was forged by the temptations put upon Him by the immense forces of hell, which had become so great they were overrunning the equilibrium between heaven and hell. These forces of hell destroy the workings in man’s mind that are able to see and receive heaven. This caused a constant increase in the separation between God and man. The forces of hell knew who Jesus was and attacked Him His whole life, tempting Him and seeking to destroy him; and this they did with an intensity and fury unimaginable to the human mind. Jesus overcame them with the might of love and wisdom in His soul. He fought with mercy and forgiveness in His heart. God was human and had the Holy marriage within Him from the beginning, but in order to save all of humanity that had become separate from Him He was born as a human in the material world and underwent the glorification process in which His divine-human was ‘upgraded’. By doing this He healed and rebuilt the connection in the psyche of Humanity that can receive God. The process was reciprocal; there had to be men and women on earth who received His teaching and love for this connection to be rebuilt. (See the articles on Glorification in this blog).
I think we can approach an understanding of how Jesus re-wired the circuitry in the psyche of humanity, or what is the same restored union between man and God, by looking at spiritual principle and history, and examples from life. The first step, though, is to really see the nature and severity of the separation that took place before Jesus was born. Religion on earth had become almost totally external, which means that inwardly people did not have charity; and when there is no charity or love it is no longer religion. The Jewish religion had become completely external and legalistic. There are consequences to this state of our mind and soul. Because of this separation it was like the ‘circuitry’ on the natural and spiritual level between God and man was unplugged. We tend to think that what happens by God is vaguely magic; we feel that God can achieve whatever He wants (which is true in a sense); But everything with God and the spiritual world takes place by a process just as much in the natural world.
John the Baptist came on the seen when the separation was at its peak. His purpose and life makes the reality of this separation very clear. His ‘crying in the wilderness’ means he sees that the separation was almost complete. When he says, “Even now the Axe is at the root”, he is saying the the complete destruction of the Jewish people and religion is eminent. Swedenborg writes:
John’s baptism prepared the way because…it brought the baptized people into the Lord’s church that was to come, and brought them into the company of those in heaven who were awaiting and desiring the Messiah. Therefore angels protected them by preventing devils from breaking out of hell and destroying them. This is why we read in Malachi: “Who can endure the day of his coming?” (Malachi 3:2), and “so that Jehovah will not come and strike the earth with a curse.” (Malachi 4:6) (True Christian Religion, n. 689)
The two verses from Malachi refer to the separation from God and the final separation into abysmal darkness to come. John refers to this also when he says, “Even now the ax is at the root”. The quote above shows that when man’s conscience no longer acknowledges God he loses the ability to be in the presence of angels and therefore loses the protection of angels from evil. The consequences of separation are very real. When there is sufficient union in a person between their body and soul, or their mind and love, and especially when they love the church – there is an extension between the angel’s minds with man (under the guidance of the Lord). The quality of a persons thoughts and love are in the presence of angels when there is this feeling of charity still in us, but when a person becomes merely external this is lost.
It is the desire and work of evil that separates God and man. When people become external they begin to lose their conscience. They may still act in a moral way perfectly well outwardly but if it is for worldy and selfish reasons it is not spiritual. Moral good becomes separated from spiritual good when we have an external or natural motivation such as for the sake of appearance, gain, and pleasure. In this state neither are truly good, but are easily corrupted when no one is looking. But there is union between moral good and spiritual good when we look to the Lord, heaven, and eternal life as our end purpose. With this outlook love in our heart brings forth the wisdom to take action of useful activity, and it is this useful activity which builds the roots and circuitry in our psyche that connects with heaven.
A worldly example of how evil disconnects us from heaven can be seen in the way the media uses propaganda. In its state of integrity the media is supposed to give accurate reporting, but now to a large extent they work to ‘snow’ the mind with fake news with a deceptive agenda. They want to take away true knowledge of what is happening so we are left ignorant and disconnected. All deceivers do this, they deviously fight against God and keep the people in fear, uniformed and misinformed so they feel lost, hopeless, and in despair. They funnel people to sources that they want the people to use to get answers which just manipulates them for more deception and control. Mis-information disrupts the minds reception of good; it tries to discourage and destroy the minds ability to receive good truths from evil intent. This is a relatively mild example of evil arts of hell that many times more sinister than this. Fortunately we are in a free society and can get information in many ways, but this gives some idea of how evil seeks to separate moral good from spiritual good thus turning both toward evil. In ancient times before Jesus the big difference was there was loss of equilibrium between heaven and hell where hell was overrunning the world of spirits and heaven – a time of true apocalypse.
In dis-equilibrium evil could forcibly blind man to good. In normal times as now evil cannot compel people, but can influence their choice. The separation between God and man was a long gradual process of neglect that atrophied the active part or the mind that receives truth and desires good. As long as we are on earth it is possible for the circuitry to be repaired although it becomes harder the older the body and mind get. If neglect the circuitry in our mind becomes lost, and once we are in the spiritual world the pattern is set. I believe this is similar to the way the body receives damage to its nerves of tendons; the damage is serious, sometimes irreparable, yet usually can be repaired in time with nurturing. As long as we are alive there is hope that it can be rebuilt, but the longer it is neglected the harder it gets.
Swedenborg describes this by the correspondences in the Bible:
“At my rebuke, I dry up the sea; I make the rivers a wilderness; their fish shall grow putrid, because there is no water, and shall die of thirst”. (lsaiah 2) The rebuke of Jehovah means the destruction of the church, which comes to pass when there is no knowledge of good and truth, or no living cognition, because no perception. Drying up the sea, signifies to deprive the natural man of scientific truths, and thence of natural derived from spiritual life. To make the rivers a wilderness, has a similar signification in regard to the rational man, in consequence of which there is no longer any intelligence; their fish becoming putrid, because there is no water, and dying of thirst, signifies that the scientific is no longer alive.
This describes the state of man before Jesus was born. The Rebuke of Jehovah does not mean God imposed it on man, but describes by correspondence that man had separated himself from God Truth. Because man’s spiritual ability to understand and connect with things of God is gone the mental ability also atrophies. The phrase ‘no living cognition’ is a great description of the circuity in the psyche going dark and dormant, because it has lost its connection to the light of heaven. Ths scientific is man’s ability to think, to be rational, and this to investigate and accept truths – this was no longer alive.
The prophet David writes in Psalms: “He turned their waters into blood, and killed their fish”. (Psalm 29) Of the correspondences in this scripture Swedenborg writes: “…by the fish dying, is signified that scientific truths perished by falsities, for scientifics live by truths but perish by falsities, the reason of which is, that all spiritual truth is living, and the entire life or, as it were, the soul in scientifics is thence, wherefore without spiritual truth, the scientific is dead”.
An image of this is given in the movie ‘Inside Out’. The little girl has healthy ‘islands’ of family, goof ball, hockey, honesty that are developed and colorful. (See the article in this blog on ‘Inside Out’).These islands represent particular parts of her soul the compose her whole self. In the movie the islands are connected by a transfer pipe to her emotions and her core center. But when evil interferes, and she chooses to act against the integrity of these islands, they become gray and the transfer pipe is destroyed. Later in the movie she goes through trials and redeeming experiences that stimulate humility and insight within her. This brings about union between Sadness and Joy in her soul which causes the transfer pipe and the islands to be rebuilt and to thrive again. Union is the process in our soul that heals and reconnects. In every man and woman this can only be done when we remember the innocence in our soul. Innocence stored in our soul is called ‘remains’. The process of remembering this innocence is one with humility. The remains are like rich soil in which roots of intelligence and useful skills take hold and become good achievements in our life. (See the article in this blog on ‘Remains’).
The healing of the mind and its separation from God, which we will discuss in the next article, is described in these verses: “For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway in the wilderness. I will create rivers in the desert.” Isaiah 43:19