Thomas Gontarz wrote: “A human being is a receptacle of life from the Lord. Being a receptacle explains why holes symbolize a lack of containment of charity and faith; In Genesis 40 the Baker dreamed about three baskets with holes and the birds ate the bread out of the baskets, holes prevent a container from containing the contents just as sensory delight prevent a person from containing the holy Spirit, and anger and reactive hate do the same thing; they can be a Spiritual black hole in a soul preventing the containment and reception of love. We need to patch the hole to contain the spirit, and allow the boat (doctrine) to float above the deep”.
This is wonderful correspondence. Psychologically, I and many others have referred to holes in our soul, and this insight gives great perspective. The challenge is to make the hole ‘whole’ again, to restore the integrity of the spiritual body that has been deeply wounded. To heal we move past the fear, and explore spiritually all the way down the hole to the bottom; this is a highly valuable exercise. To peer with our inner sight into the dark, we see old assumptions and the cause of painful wounds, and the light of our core presence dissolves fear, it empowers us in face the pain and the issues. In exercising the courage to do this, Jesus is with us at every step, and at the bottom we can fully receive the compassion of His presence, and have a full feeling of how Jesus is with us, and confidence He be with us again through the next challenge, and we are renewed even to the end.
Evil from negative people try to annihilate our identity with hate; they love to pass their pain into us which makes the hole in our soul; it creates confusion, despair, and loss of perception. This is why holes are dark and scary. Now this is Key – Our job is to use the energy of our feelings of hate to annihilate the presence of their hate and lies in us! To come to see this is a great leap in our growth and perception! We don’t return their hate, but destroy their hate in us and the game is up. This transmutes our feelings of hate into love of fighting for our soul, and for God! And we are free. We see that the negative people, and the forces of evil, want to tell us that to do this for ourself is ‘not right’, or ‘not compassionate’ – but only because they want to keep us in the dark, trapped in lies!
Tom’s insight is a great example of the power of integrating psychology with religion.
Among all the churches of the World the Swedenborg Church the Swedenborg church possesses a great treasure that religion and the world are in great need of. Yet most don’t use it, much less promote it. The treasure it possesses it the internal sense of the Word.
The ability to communicate the internal sense can be done directly or inherently. Among Swedenborgians it can be spoken of directly because it is known in the church, and by all means should be vigorously developed. It also can be taught also among all types of Christians simply by doing it. I do this all the time every day with Christians and any person who is interested. One simply communicates from the inspiration and meaning of the internal sense of the Word. There need be nothing political about this, it is simply about seeking the truth in the Word and going wherever it leads. I say this because the Swedenborg convention church has become ‘hyper aware’ of political implications. To stop oneself from seeking and following the truth in the Word where it leads simply lacks intellectual and spiritual integrity. There is no better way to seek
Genuine spirituality comes from union of love and wisdom, from the practice of doing good uses for others and acknowledging good comes from God; and they are to be done together. When the Bible says to be harmless as a dove and wise as a serpent it expresses a spiritual practice that is to be done in union, not separately. This requires humility toward the source, and the integration of the two is the spirituality of it. Yoga means union. To act from only one or the other only is dissociative, and they remain external. For instance those who act from blanket compassion toward immigrants are only being harmless as doves, and there is blindness in this without being discerning. Progressive Christians have long tended to overlook the principle of union in theology, and go all out for the one side of compassion; for instance when I was in a progressive seminary in Berkeley very few believed there was an actual hell. Many felt this way because they believed it was less than compassionate to think God would allow anyone to be in hell, a false belief that completely takes the teeth out of genuine religion. (This subject is discussed in another article). So they subordinate the spiritual reality to their feelings and ideology.
A similar phenomenon happens in a different way on the conservative side of religion. Protestants developed the doctrine of salvation by faith alone from their own prudence, not Gods. This doctrine is the opposite of the principle of union in that it separates faith from charity, when in truth faith (wisdom) and charity (love) are only effective when bonded in union. Faith and charity work together for the health and salvation of our soul, exactly like the heart (love) and wisdom (lungs) work together to keep the body healthy and alive, and cannot function without each other. Salvation is by faith and charity together, and they are bonded in our soul when expressed in useful activities for our self and especially others. The doctrine of salvation by faith alone was also the fabrication of man. During the bitter battle for control with the Catholic Church Luther provided leadership and made many advances that countered the oppressive ways of the Catholic Church; but in doing so he hit upon the Doctrine of Salvation by faith alone to distinguish the protestants from the Catholics. This doctrine caught-on and took the heart and soul out of religion by removing the bride of faith – charity. It started in a different way what was so objected to about the Catholics – put religion on the shoulders of a doctrine of tradition, not from the wisdom of the Word. It still goes on today, fervently held onto by evangelicals, but it has been an untenable doctrine from the beginning, and since the second coming it has been muted and reconciled in many ways so that in practice a lot if its harm has been taken away.
Much of liberal thinking originated in liberation theology, which is based on the idea that ‘God favors the poor and oppressed’. This was first started in South America by Catholic nuns and monks to serve the purpose of the poor and oppressed working people. This served a good purpose for the poor in that situation, but it is a false doctrine and has since been used as ideological tool for coercion, political leverage and power. It also was meant to serve the oppressed but became the oppressor. This is because it is by the will and fabrication of man, not from the divine of the Word. The black community took up the idea and used it in their activism to bring favor to their cause, and later the gay community took it up as part of their ideology. In the hands of man this doctrine of favor leads to selfishness, and power struggles. It is of the natural mind to think that God would favor any particular group or people – not the spiritual mind. It is a falsity because God does not favor the poor, the oppressed, the rich, or anyone. God favors none; and God favors all. God sees what is in the heart of every man and woman, and every nation and religion, and they receive according to the fruit of their soul. I believe it is of the nature of God that perfect justice is always done in the spiritual world. For any group to say that God favors them selves, or another group, spiritually descends into is nothing more than ploy for political leverage.
So the falsifications of both progressive religion and conservative religion can be understood by their mistreatment of the principle of union. This does not mean those who do this are all wrong by any means; these doctrines or beliefs become traditions and people are peer pressured into them to a large degree, but if at some point they make it part of their own will that is where they become culpable according to spiritual principle. It is very valuable to be able to distinguish these problems in thinking so that we make good choices and so we do not throw the baby out with the bath water. This understanding of how religion strays from being genuine helps one to deal with feelings of anger towards religion so that we don’t go so far as to destroy our relationship with God. The misconceptions are of the religion of man, but the internal of religion is always in a pure and holy state – a distinction that is invaluable to contemplate for the sincere seeker.
Someone asked – “Where do we go when we die? Please provide scripture”.
If we have lived well God ‘prepares a place for us’, and this place is prepared according to the loves in our heart and the quality of wisdom in our understanding. The union of the love and wisdom that we have formed in life become a constellation in our soul, and the qualities of this constellation are are set at our time of death. “Where the tree falleth there it lies’. If this constellation is heavenly we are able to respond and receive the promptings and teachings of the angels – who, after we die, come to minister to us stage by stage, comforting us and teaching us where we are at . ‘Comforting angels’.
Most of us will still have some qualities of evil, and false beliefs, in us from the world, and these will have to be cleaned out. “You do not put wine in an old wine skin’. This process is called vastation which means ‘to cleans of’. The vastation could be relatively easy or it could be very severe, depending how we have lived in life, and thus we accept or resist the teachings of the angels. In this in between place, we are with good and bad people, and here everyone seeks and is with for a time those who they knew and loved in life; but in the spiritual world everything is based on state of love. We are our soul now, and if we are of different qualities of love we move on.We gradually gravitate to the ‘east’ or ‘west’, the east leading to heaven ‘the angles face east’, and west to hell. This process takes place in the world of spirits which is between heaven and hell. ‘Between you and I there is a chasm’.
There comes a time we will walk along a path and if it is heavenly it will be ‘the narrow path’; and if it leads to hell it will be ‘the broad path’. When we see a stone ‘do not stumble on the stone’; for it is for those with no spiritual sight, and stumbling on it one falls to hell. If we are heavenly we walk around it no the narrow path.
The constellation in our soul is like a ‘seed’. The many qualities we have formed in this seed bloom magnificently in the light of heaven, in ways we cannot now imagine. These are the ‘gifts of the spirit’ that we exercised to some degree in life, and now bloom in ways that are wondrous; but to what degree and quality they bloom depends on how we have developed the seed in life. Heavenly light only propagates from the seeds that are there – that we have formed in our soul. As long as we are in heaven we are in eternal happiness, but there are three levels to heaven and innumerable societies in every level. Everyone goes to a society of a certain quality of love and wisdom and use, and we go to that society that we are in kinship with.
It is also extraordinary to note that as we move and grow into this new life all the memories of our old life fall away. They are all still in us in every detail but they become irrelevant, pushed to the perimeter, in comparison to the wonder and joy of our new life. ‘All our tears and sorrows are washed away’.
The nature of heaven is ever-increasing joy, it is never stagnant – because for joy to be joy it must be ever increasing. If it were to become familiar it would lessen the joy, and this the Lord does not do. In heaven love is expressed through use to each other and these are of infinite variety. The places we live and all the things there are free-gratis from the Lord. Everything there appears according to the loves in our heart, and in harmony with the loves of those with us and around us in the society of the place we live. In heaven everything around us corresponds to the love and wisdom in our soul, and these things appear and disappear accordingly to the changes of our state of mind. The state of mind of angels goes up and down but overall increases in joy forever.
It is important to understand why it is that the Bible appears to have contradictions. Let us affirm that in essence the Bible has no contradiction for it is divine truth and divine truth is infinite and in complete harmony.
The Word is divine truth that is accommodated down to mankind. In it there is an angelic level and an earthly level, and this has to be managed for man’s reception (which only the infinite presence and wisdom of God can do). Much of Mankind cannot receive divine truth in its essence. They cannot understand it, but what is worse they may understand it, and love it, and later turn against it, which is a terrible form of profaning. For this reason Divine truths in the literal sense of the Letter are veiled. By ‘veiled’ we mean that it has a meaning that represents the truth but is expressed in a simple or obscured meaning. This is clearly seen in parables that look like a simple story but have a deeper meaning. Jesus himself explains this when His disciples ask him why He speaks to the people in a veiled manner, but to them he speaks plainly.
This phenomenon in parables, that is well known, is true of all the words of the Holy Bible. This is why all the words of the Bible have an external (literal), and an internal sense. For the most part the words are veiled, and being so are called appearances of truth. They are made this way to accommodate to the perception of people, whose thoughts often do not rise above what they see with their eyes on earth.
It needs to be further understood that the external sense is a container and a protector of the precious internal. The internal can only be approached and treated with sincerity and integrity to the end. For those who would not do so the Lord providentially keeps them in an external understanding only for their own protection. As mentioned above if is a terrible state for anyone to take the Word in at one time with love and then turn against it later. This is a terrible thing, that must be prevented. Also, there are those who use the Word and its power for their own power and this also the Lord seeks to avoid. Because of all this there are some things which appear like contradictions, but as we said in its wholeness there is not a single contradiction in the Word. So, let’s look at some examples of ‘contradictions’ in the Bible.
It says “JEHOVAH repents,” Exodus 32: 1- 14; but elsewhere it is said that “JEHOVAH does not repent.” in Numbers 23: 19: 1, and Samuel 15. It is also said that “JEHOVAH visits the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation.” Numbers 14: 18; and it is also said that “a father shall not die for a son, neither a son for a father, but everyone shall die in his own sin.” Deut. 24: 16. In the light of the internal sense these passages are not contradictory, but are in perfect agreement.
Jesus says: “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.” Matt. 7: 8. But without understanding it might be believed that every one will receive what he asks; but doctrine explains that what is given is whatever a man asks in accordance with the Lord’s will; which the Lord teaches: “If ye abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. John 15: 7.
The Lord says, “Blessed are the poor, for theirs is the kingdom of God.” Luke 6: 20. Without understanding it might be supposed that heaven is for the poor, and not for the rich; but doctrine teaches that the poor in spirit are here meant, for the Lord says:”Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Matt. 5: 3.
Again, the Lord says: “Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged.” Matt. 7: 1, 2. Without understanding one might think they are not to assess the sins a criminal man; but one can pass judgment, provided it is just, for the Lord says: “Judge righteous judgment.” John 7: 24.
Jesus says: “Be not ye called teacher: for one is your teacher, even Christ. And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is Your Father, which is in heaven. Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ.” Matt. 13: 8, 9, 10. One might think from this that we should call no one teacher, father, or master; but good doctrine teaches that we may do so in the natural sense, but not in the spiritual.
In another place Jesus said to the disciples: “When the Son of Man shall sit in the throne of His glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.” Matt. From these words it might be concluded that the disciples were also to judge salvation, but they cannot judge any ones salvation, only Jesus. Understanding the nature of explains these things in every case. The Lord alone, who is omniscient, knows the hearts of all, and He is the judge. By His twelve disciples in the internal sense is meant the Church and the principles of truths and good that the church is to live by, and the church possesses these from the Lord by means of the Word; therefore we understand that it the Word which will judge every one. It does so because it is the truth and the true standard of life and in it is the presence of the Lord and these reveal a mans state of being.
There are many other passages in the Word similar to these that have seeming contradiction, and each must by understood in it’s own case by their internal and external meaning.
Someone asked: “The evil works done by our forefather does it have an effects on us; if so why bear their sins when we don’t commit such, can someone bear another person sin?”
We do not bear the sins of others. Sins from our parents become hereditary evil in our body and soul, but these are inclinations. Just as we have the physical qualities of parents in children we, we have personality qualities and hereditary evil passed on in our soul. We are not responsible the hereditary evil passed on but these are latent in us as inclinations. We are responsible for the evil that we commit. As long as we are thinking about evil, whether to do or not, it is in the realm of thought – this is a temptation. But if it crosses the line into our will where we fully intend to do and do it, then it becomes sin we are responsible for.
We can overcome or remove sin by fully and honestly acknowledging and and turning away from it in our heart and ming. This involves the pain of facing what we are, and humbling ourself. We must take it to God and ask for his help. This is repenting.
Also, it is very important to understand that no one can bear the sins of another, the removal of sin is a reciprocal process of regeneration between us and the Lord. Jesus does not remove sins in a unilateral way from anyone, we must turn to him of our own will and bond with him to do so. It is a false doctrine that Jesus ‘washed away’ our sin and the sin of humanity. The removal of sin is a process of regenerating and bonding with God, that is achieved mutually. The redemption that Jesus provided in the resurrection is that he defeated all the forces of evil, he put them all in their place, and he restored the full light and integrity of heaven; He restored the church on earth and restored light and liberty to man by His great and prophecied deeds. He did this by his might alone! In doing it He restored man’s freedom. This is the redemption. Now every human being has a direct relationship with Jesus. This is the most intimate part of our soul. It is a relationship which is reciprocal, this gives us self agency and the ability to worship the one who is Holy and who loves us and redeems us for our good.
The Rich Man and Lazarus
19 “There was a certain rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and [h]fared sumptuously every day. 20 But there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, full of sores, who was laid at his gate, 21 desiring to be fed with [i]the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table. Moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. 22 So it was that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom. The rich man also died and was buried. 23 And being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
24 “Then he cried and said, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.’ 25 But Abraham said, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted and you are tormented. 26 And besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, so that those who want to pass from here to you cannot, nor can those from there pass to us.’
27 “Then he said, ‘I beg you therefore, father, that you would send him to my father’s house, 28 for I have five brothers, that he may testify to them, lest they also come to this place of torment.’ 29 Abraham said to him, ‘They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.’ 30 And he said, ‘No, father Abraham; but if one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ 31 But he said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead.’ ”
‘The rich man clothed in purple and fine linen’ represents those are within the Church but hoard the good of it for themself. ‘Purple and fine linen’ itself represents having an abundance of understanding of doctrine that comes from the Word. ‘A poor one’ means those within the Church with whom there is little understanding of truth, but who nevertheless have had a desire to receive instruction. Overall this represents religious leaders who are using religion for power and not for the people. The poor man is named Lazarus after the Lazarus whom the Lord raised from the dead, and this association is in reference to the Jesus’s great love for Lazarus, and in turn to Jesus greatest love which was for the salvation of the people, (John 11:1-3, 36); and (John 11:11). This love of jesus’ is in total contrast to the leaders and the rulers. ‘His wish to be filled with the crumbs falling from the rich one’s table’ meant his desire to learn a few truths from those within the Church possessing them in abundance. ‘The dogs that licked his sores’ are those outside the Church who have a yearning for good, but are deprived authentic good of faith from the corruption of leaders.
You see this syndrome in some churches and institutions; it gets repeated over and over, and everyone of them thinks they are so original, but really they are controlled by the same old tricks of hell. Too often, there are those at the top who do and say the right things but who inwardly don’t care about the people who serve them, but do everything just to keep their, perks, power and positions.
In Jewish tradition to be ‘carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom’ is the ultimate in reward and salvation. So, when both die there is an incredible contrast. The poor man who begged for crumbs and that was so low had dogs licking his soars, is now at the height of Jewish happiness in salvation, while the rich man feels all the hate, pain and neglect he put out on others.
When the rich man reaches out to get some water from Lazarus Abraham tells him what they did in their lifetime to be where they are now at, and says he cannot be given the water. The inner meaning of this is that each and every person forms the state of their soul while they are in the world, and once in heaven or hell this basic form cannot change. This is difficult for many to understand, but this is according to the immutable principles of life – which are entirely just from God. The form of ones love at death is set. It cannot change because these are the loves one freely chose during their whole, and in the spiritual world one is what they love. In life we are in continual formation because we have a natural body and a spiritual body, and between these God is constantly guiding us to seek union an harmony. Union is the glory of Jesus; it is what He did and demonstrated in achieving the Glorification and resurrection. It is what he leads us to do except in us it is regeneration not glorification. To the degree we are exerising union between our inner self and outer self, our body and mind, our loves and our actions we are forging the heavenly pattern in our soul. Hell is always seeking to separate our body and soul, and mind and heart – which is all forms of deception and is an internal hate and separation. When we die the nature of concordance between our body and soul, heart and mind forms a constellation. This constellation is only formed during life on earth because it is between the natural and the spiritual, so when we die (and there is no more physical) – it is set!
Then Abraham tells the rich man about the ‘gulf between you and us’. This gulf Jesus built in His first coming (after hell had overrun it) and rebuilt in the second coming (after hell had overrun it) and now he promised it will never be breached again. Hell is completely separate from heaven, the two repel and are abhorrent to the nature of each other. They cannot occupy the same space like the same ends of a magnet that cannot be put together. God allows and governs hell and heaven from perfect justice according to what they have ‘reaped’. Hell must be separate from heaven to keep it in integrity – for any chance it gets hell would utterly destroy heaven.
Apocalypse Revealed (Whitehead) n. 120
That this signifies that to those who conquer in temptations will be given the delight of heavenly love from the Divine Human of the Lord is evident from the signification of him that overcometh, as being those who conquer in temptations.
It good but not enough to believe, and it is good but not enough to love alone; these need to be done together, and then especially done in action. Hidden manna is the Lord because we complete the circuit of doing his will when His will is in our will and we act on it. It comes upon us, and we feel it, but we usually don’t know it till after. This why it is hidden manna; in this life we have all kinds of temptation, selfish desires, bad dreams, strange thought, feelings of lust that inundate us in the world. The world wants us to identify with this, evil wants us to think we are the evil it persuades us with, but we are not these. Just as all good comes from God, and it is for us to acknowledge this, evil comes from the devil and we are not the evil and we are not to identify as it but to ward it off. The hidden manna is to do the Lord’s will in this life, in little or big actions, and in doing this we are inherently rejecting and putting off evil. In doing this we gain great ground and know ourself and know the Lord. There is always more work to be done, faithful to the end, but we can rejoice in the hidden manna manifested.
120. I will give to eat of the hidden manna, signifies wisdom, and at the same time the appropriation of the good of celestial love in works, and thus conjunction of the Lord with those who work. By “the hidden manna,” which they will have who are in good works, and who at the same time adjoin the truths of doctrine to works, is meant hidden wisdom of a quality like that which they have who are in the third heaven. For these, because they were in good works, and at the same time in truths of doctrine in the world, are in wisdom above other angels, but in hidden wisdom, for it is written in their life and not so much on their memory; therefore they are of such a nature that they do not talk of the truths of doctrine, but do them, and they do them because they know them, and also see them when others speak them. That the good of love is appropriated to them, and the Lord conjoins Himself with those who adjoin truths of doctrine to good works, and thus gives them wisdom in their good, and that this is “giving to eat of the hidden manna,” may appear from these words of the Lord:
The hidden manna is the same as the bread of God described in the Word: ‘The bread of God is He which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world. I am the bread of life; your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness and are dead. This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that he who eateth thereof may not die. I am the living bread, that came down from heaven; if anyone eat of this bread he shall live forever (John 6:31-51).
From which it is evident, that the Lord Himself is “the hidden manna”. In a spiritual way the hidden manna refers fruitful works when we approach Him alone, that is when we do with a heart for Jesus and acknowledge the good comes from Him alone. Whether we call hidden manna “the Lord” or “the good of celestial love,” or “the wisdom of that love,” it is the same. But this matter is a secret which enters with difficulty into the natural idea of anyone, so long as it is veiled over with a cloud from worldly things; but it does enter when the mind is serene and in the sunshine of love to the Lord.