The Inner Meaning of the Story of the Tower of Babel

October 4th, 2015

 

Babylon, in general, refers to evil leaders that use religion to deceive and control people from their own lust for power. This takes place in both the spiritual world and on earth.

The religious leaders of the ancient Jews had become mostly power obsessed. They claimed authority to themselves and kept the people under their power with all the strict religious rules. The people themselves though, still learned of God and religion from them, and if they practiced their faith sincerely, even if it had falsities, they received some degree of connection to the Word and heaven. The religious leaders had to act according to the laws and keep up appearances even if inwardly they were evil. In this way the two were inextricably tied together. The leaders served the purpose of religion, even though they had evil motivations, so the Lord could not separate them from the people until the time was right to abolish the representative church. The same kind of thing was taking place in the psuedo heavens in the spiritual world. The leaders were sheltered from the Lord’s immediate judgement because they were serving a religious purpose to the common people, that is, they provided knowledge of the Word to the people and oversaw all the functions of the temple that provided correspondences to heaven. But when the Lord came into the world everything was prepared for all this to change, and each person would receive justice according to their internal state. The captives specifically then are those who were unjustly kept in the psuedo heavens of the spiritual world. This attack and insurrection of evil forces in the world of spirits (that I just describes as the psuedo heavens) is told by correspondences in the story of the Tower of Babel. I will aduce two places in scripture that describe this situation; the first quote is from the book of Revelation, and the second quote is from Isaiah:

And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there.And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them thoroughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for mortar. And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth (Gen. 11:2-4).

And in Isaiah:

Thou mayest take up this parable concerning the king of Babylonia. Jehovah hath broken the staff of the wicked, the scepter of those having dominion; thou, Lucifer, hast fallen from heaven; thou art cut down even to the earth; thou hast said in thy mind, I will ascend into the heavens; I will exalt my throne over the stars of God, and I sit on the mountain of the assembly, in the sides of the north, I will become like the Most High. Nevertheless thou shalt be cast down into hell, to the sides of the pit; I will cut off the name and residue of Babylon and will cause her to become an hereditary possession of the bittern (Isaiah 14:4, 5, 12, 13, 14, 15, 22, 23).

These scriptures tell how evil minded leaders used and abused the power of the Word to set up false heavens and control the people, but were finally taken down in the judgement. Swedenborg describes the inner meaning of the Tower of Babel:

By Babylon are meant all who wish to have dominion by religion. To have dominion by religion, is to have dominion over men’s souls, thus over their very spiritual life, and to use the Divine things, which are in their religion, as the means. All those who have dominion for an end, and religion for the means are in general Babylon. They are called Babylon because such dominion began in ancient times; but it was destroyed in its beginning. Its commencement is described by the city and the tower, the head of which was to be in heaven (AC 54).

The man…who does not acknowledge a God, is under the dominion of infernal spirits. Knowing this, leaders who build Babylonish towers make themselves a name by means of doctrinal and holy things, for otherwise they could not be worshiped, which is signified in what next follows by their otherwise being scattered over the faces of the whole earth, that is, they would not be acknowledged. And from this it follows that the higher such men can lift up the head to heaven, the more they make themselves a name. Their dominion is greatest over those who have some conscience; for these they lead whithersoever they will; but as to those who have not conscience, they rule all such by means of various external bonds (AC 1308).

The story of the tower of Babel is a description by correspondences of how the evil forces would build the false heavens in the world of spirits and infiltrate the natural and spiritual heaven. Babylon is also a general term that refers to an accumulation of power by evil leaders posing as good, and who then control the people. In the above quote the phrase ‘Their dominion is greatest over those who have some conscience’ harkens back to the description I gave on how cults work. Those who have a conscience, those who have some intelligence and want to please, are more readily led astray by ‘mind control’, or what is the same, the mental intimidation of the the religious leaders. These leaders themselves, talented and skilled in the art of deception as they may be, are themselves led by evil spirits from the deepest hells who are much more artful then they. If the process just described had continued without correction, the captives and eventually all of humanity would have lost all freedom at the hand of evil spirits.

Part 2: The Second Coming Is the Revealing of the Internal Sense of the Word, wherein Christ Is

August 27th, 2015

This article is a continuation of part 1 on the second coming. Now we will begin to look at what the second coming means and how it took place in history. Here is an essential quote from Swedenborg by personal witness of the events.

It was granted me to see from beginning to end how the last judgment was accomplished: and also how the Babylon was destroyed (Rev. xviii); how those who understood by the dragon were cast into the abyss: and how the new heaven was formed; and a new church was instituted in the heavens, which is meant by the New Jerusalem. It was granted me to see all these things with my own eyes, in order that I might be able to testify to them. This last judgment was commenced in the beginning of the year 1757, and was fully accomplished at the end of that year (Last Judgment 45,46).

What then does the second coming essentially consist of? This can only be understood when one has a feel for the divine nature of the Word, and particularly for its internal and external sense, (which we have discussed previously). The second coming of Christ is essentially the revealing of the internal sense of the Word. The internal sense is what gives the Word the power to conjoin heavenly wisdom to earth, and Jesus is the living Word. Jesus is the living Word because the Word is the manifestation of divine truth descended down from heaven, of which Jesus, the divine human, is the source. This is accomplished by correspondences. When the Scripture says He will come with power and glory riding on the clouds on a white horse, it does not mean literally that He will appear in a cloud and be riding a horse. ‘Riding on clouds’ represents the literal sense of the Word, ‘coming in power and glory’ means the internal sense of the Word, and the horse represents the ability to understanding the Word. This interpretation of riding on clouds as the literal sense of the word may seem capricious to some readers; so in this case I will provide a quote that will show several examples of where ‘riding on clouds’ appears in scripture to serve as an example how imagery themes are repeated in the Bible. It is worth noting first, that, in general, the literal correspondent is always an image of the spiritual correspondent with some variations on the theme depending on the situation. In the case of clouds the literal sense arizes from the way clouds obscure the light from the sun and protect from its direct light. The literal image is a comparatively pale image of the internal; it is a lesser degree of it, but it is also a container and protector of the internal meaning. Niether can exist without the other. It is necessary that it be this way, because the internal is sacred and in its pure light needs to be protected from abuse. This is similar to the purpose of parables in that parables are a simple story with a deeper, obscured meaning, and they are meant to seed the reciever for later harvest. The sacred nature of the internal is meant to be approached with deep respect and sincerity, so the literal protects it from those who would profane and abuse it. Through this mechanism the Lord providentially guides people for their own protection until they are ready. The following quote from Swedenborg lists several places in scripture where clouds appear with the same meaning as told above; he also teaches in this quote how correspondents come from realities in heaven:

‘There is none like unto the God of Jeshurun who rideth in the heaven, and in magnificence upon the clouds’ (Deut. 33:26-27). ‘Sing unto God, praise His name; extol Him that rideth upon the clouds’ (Ps. 68:4). ‘Jehovah rideth upon a light cloud’ (Isa. 19:1). “To ride” signifies to instruct in Divine truths from the Word, for “a horse” signifies understanding of the Word (see Apocalypse Revealed, n. 298). Who does not see that God does not ride upon the clouds? Again: ‘God rode upon cherubs. He made His pavilion thick clouds of the heavens’ (Ps. 18:10, 11). ‘Jehovah bindeth up the waters in His clouds; Him spreadeth His cloud over His throne’ (Job 26:8, 9). ‘Give ye strength unto God; His strength is in the clouds’ (Ps. 68:34). ‘Jehovah will create over every dwelling of Mount Zion a cloud by day; for over all the glory shall be a covering’ (Isa. 4:5). The Word in the sense of the letter was also represented by the cloud in which Jehovah descended upon Mount Sinai, when He promulgated the law; the principles of the law that were then promulgated were the first fruits of the Word. As further proof, the following may also be added: In the spiritual world as well as in the natural world there are clouds, but from a different origin. In the spiritual world there are sometimes bright clouds over the angelic heavens, but dusky cloud over the hells. The bright clouds over the angelic heaven signify obscurity there arising from the literal sense of the Word; but when these clouds are dispersed, it signifies that they are in the clear light of the Word from the spiritual sense; while the dusky clouds over the hells signify the falsification and profanation of the Word. This signification of “clouds” in the spiritual world has its origin in the fact that the light which there goes forth from the Lord as a sun, signifies Divine truth; for which reason He is called “the Light” (John 1:9; 12:35).

In the big picture at the time of the second coming the psuedo heavens that had built up in the spiritual world were ‘clouds’ that obscured light from humanity on earth. The Catholic, protestant and Muslim religions had become bereft of real charity, and greatly falsified in doctrine, and the psuedo heavens were composed of these. The spiritual state of humanity had again reached a crisis point because of the decline and corruptions in the Christian church. This time, in the second coming, His coming was accomplished by the opening up of the internal sense of the Word, which as shown is meant by Him ‘riding in the clouds in power and glory’. This opening up was a result of the Lord putting all of heaven and hell into Divine order. He could not do it before because even if he had humanity would not be able to receive it. The reason being that the life of the human mind, soul and body are sustained continually by reception from the spiritual world, specifically, from angels and spirits from the spiritual world that are present with us. We are not cognitive of this, but without heaven in order evil spirits would snatch away internal truths. Earth and heaven are in a symbiotic relationship; it is dangerous for humanity to receive divine truths unless the spiritual world is in order. After He performed the judgement in the spiritual world on the false heavens imposed by corupted Christians, and thus put all heaven and hell in order, the internal sense of the Word was gradually introduced to humanity. With the removal of the dark cloud between heaven and earth people could receive and retain understanding of the internal sense.

Now lets look at the second coming in history. According to what I have presented here we first need to show that religion on earth was in a declined state before 1757. I will not do an in depth study of history showing the corruptions of the Catholic and protestant churches for that would be another book of its own. I will simply demonstrate the principles by which these churches became corrupt, and from this one can look and see it in history. I will also show how it is referenced in scripture.

Babylon in the book of revelation refers to the old Catholic church. Many scholars have proposed this and Swedenborg asserts it is the truth (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whore_of_Babylon). He also presents that the Dragon refers to the coruptions of the protestant church which I will present after. Below is Swedenborg’s summery of the state of the catholic church leading up to the second coming (which he here calls the papists). Swedenborg was writing this around 1758 and it refers to the old catholic church from somewhere about the 1400 to 1800. It does not refer to the present day Catholic church, but there are of course remants of these characteristics.

In third article I will describe how the Old Catholic church is Babylon in the Bible.

Analysis of the Falsity of the Doctrine of Salvation of Faith Alone, Its effect in History and Today

August 24th, 2015

 

It is important now to take a look at the corruptions of the protestant or reformed churches. In The Bible just as Babylon referred to the declined state of the Catholic Church, the Dragon refers in general to the violations of the Protestant church at their end state. The primary corruption Swedenborg points out over and over in his writing is the doctrine of salvation by faith alone. This doctrine goes hand in hand with the doctrine that the sins of humanity were washed away or atoned in a unilateral way by ‘the blood of Christ shed on the cross’ meaning that He removed the sins of humanity by His sacrifice. As I have shown above the internal meaning of this phrase and many like it refers to the redemption the Lord provided by subjugating the hells and restoring equilibrium; it does not mean that Jesus removed the sins from the body and soul of persons or humanity. As I have also shown before it is not possible for God or man to remove sins from another; the removing of sins or hereditary evil is entirely a reciprocal process by which man is regenerated under the providence of the Lord. On its face value this doctrine allows that a person can live as they wish, and at the end confess belief in the Lord and be saved. This was a corruption of religion that caused the decline and externalization of the church from the reformation to 1758. It still goes on today but much light has been added to it since then. From the beginning this doctrine was untenable and many justifications have been formulated to reconcile it to the rest of scripture. Today, by these reconciliations the teeth has been taken out of it, but nevertheless, as a doctrine it is fiercely held on to by evangelical churches. The way this doctrine is reconciled are several and varied and too confusing to site here (although Swedenborg does exactly that in ‘Apocalypse Explained’ 786). Here is scripture from Revelation about the dragon which I will examine:

 And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority. And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast. And they worshiped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshiped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him? And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months. And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven (Revelation).

Swedenborg describes the correspondence of how salvation by faith alone and the dragon are linked:

And they worshiped the dragon which gave authority unto the beast, signifies the acknowledgment of salvation and justification by faith alone, established and corroborated by these devised modes of conjunction, and thus received in doctrine. This is evident from the signification of “to worship,” as being to acknowledge and revere as Divine, and thus to receive in doctrine that is for the church; for such as acknowledge the Divine and from such acknowledgment revere it, these worship it, and also receive it in doctrine which is for the church. Also from the signification of “the dragon,” as being those who are in faith separated from charity in doctrine and in life. It is said that the dogma of salvation and justification by faith alone is established and corroborated by devised modes of conjoining it with good works; but it must be understood that this doctrine can in no way be established and corroborated by such means, for this dogma is meant by “the dragon,” and the confirmation of it by reasonings from the natural man is represented by this “beast;” and “the dragon and its beast” signify what is discordant with the Word and cannot be conjoined with it (AE, 789).

The beast coming up out of the sea,” signifies the reasonings of the dragon from the natural man confirming the separation of faith from life, and “the beast coming up out of the earth” signifies the confirmations of the dragon from the sense of the letter of the Word, and the falsification of it. That the dragon is also meant by the two beasts, is evident from its being said that “the dragon gave to the beast coming up out of the sea his power and his throne and great authority “(Apocolypse Explained, 774).

The dragon refers to the spiritual warfare of the evil ones that infiltrate religion and seek to take the soul out of it by confirming falsities in the hearts and minds of the leaders and the people. The fact that the doctrine of salvation by faith entrenched itself in the protestant church was a triumph of evil. This doctrine began with Luther’s effort to separate from the Catholic church. There was much good in his leadership to break from the Catholic Church and its corruptions, but in this effort to distinguish and separate the reformed church from the Catholic church he strategically hit upon the doctrine of faith alone. But by separating faith and charity the essence of the spirituality of religion is removed and it becomes external. It is significant to understand why it is that the separation of faith and charity is so damaging to the individual and to religion, but this is not to say by any means that those who believe this doctrine are going to hell or anything of the sort. As I mentioned even those who profess this do not really live by it, but usually apply the rest of religion to life. (I will put out another article soon that about the spiritual and devotional value of the union of love and wisdom (faith and charity) to life and religion). The point here is to see how this doctrine itself is false, its historical effect, and that God has providentially worked  around it to a large extent. My desire is certainly not to pile on against religion and cause others to leave it, but I feel that if we can accurately as possible define its points of failure we can reconcile our feelings about it and deepen our faith. For now the following quote explains the essential nature of the marriage of faith and charity; it also harkens back to the spirituality that we receive from the sun referred to earlier in this blog:

In their radiation heat and light (from the natural sun) become separated, as is shown by the things on which they act, some of which receive more heat and some more light. This is particularly true of people, for in this case the light of life, which is intelligence, is separated from the heat of life, which is love. This is because a person needs to be reformed and regenerated, which is impossible unless the light of life, which is intelligence, shows what ought to be willed and loved. It should, however, be known that God is constantly working to link love with wisdom in a person, though he, unless he looks to God and believes in Him, is constantly working to separate them. In so far as these two are separated in a person, so far does he become an image of Lucifer and the Dragon, and is cast down from heaven to earth, and then into hell beneath the earth.
When spiritual heat, which is love, is separated from spiritual light, which is wisdom, charity is separated from faith. Then the enticements of the love of evil, which are in themselves longings, burst forth, untamed and unrestrained by intelligence, but rather fostered, pampered and nourished by it. In short, the separation of love and wisdom, or charity and faith, the two things God constantly strives to link, is, to use a comparison, like depriving a face of redness, so producing a pallor as of death; or taking the whiteness away from redness, which makes the face like a blazing torch. It is also like destroying the bond of marriage between a couple, so that the wife becomes a prostitute and the husband an adulterer.

It is fascinating and important to see how this doctrine operates in and from history. With this knowledge on can see the effects in modern churches. It is important to see because this is the source of many problems unchurched people have with religion, particularly of the evangelical style. The following quote is an exceptionally astute analysis of how this doctrine lingers and limits the genuine expression of faith for many people.

 

That faith alone, or faith separated from goods in act, which are good works, is not possible, is evident from this, that the essence of faith is charity, and charity is the affection of doing the things that belong to faith; consequently faith without charity is like thought without affection; and as thought without affection is no thought, so faith without charity is no faith. Therefore to speak of faith without charity is to speak of life without a soul, of form without that which forms, of a product without that which produces, and of an effect without a cause; and for this reason faith alone is a nonentity; and from a nonentity to produce good works, as a good tree produces fruits, is a contradiction, whereby what is believed to be something is not anything. Because faith without charity is not possible; and yet the thought and persuasion that a thing is so appears as if it were faith, and is called faith; but it is not saving faith, it is historical faith, because it is from the mouth of another. For one who believes anything from another whom he thinks worthy of belief, and who receives this, stores it in his memory, and from the memory thinks and speaks about it without seeing whether it be false or true, has no other hold upon it than as something historical. But if he confirms this in himself by appearances from the Word and by reasonings, from historical faith it becomes to him persuasive faith, which faith is like the sight of an owl, which sees objects in darkness and nothing in the light.

 

Very few people understand this, but many have expressed their deep dissatisfaction with the church because of this phenomenon of having hollow doctrine forced upon them. In the above quote Swedenborg gives voice to the source of this problem. People want genuine faith, and of course many find it, but this historical faith too often gets in the way either by entrenching itself in the church or turning people off to the church. Historical faith comes from tradition, from ‘the mouths of others’. Internal faith is the sweet stuff. Those in power of evangelical churches are taught that to be a true church they must teach this doctrine, so it is passed on from crony to crony, and the voice and feelings of others are at least partially frustrated, and it is most often difficult to say exactly why. Now days even churches that profess the doctrine of salvation by faith alone do not really live by it. Any good church teaches that we must do good things in life and apply the teachings of Jesus to our daily lives. So since the second coming much recovery has come about from the corruption of this doctrine, but it still persists as doctrine to a great extent in evangelical churches. In progressive churches Evil has also worked its machinations by an intense reaction to this doctrine. They moved to the polar opposite; that is, in progressive churches there is a great distaste for and rejection of almost all doctrine. Thus these churches give a very low authority to the Bible and the Lord. But Good doctrine is necessary for the understanding of the Word. It gives guidance to the reception and understanding of the Word and form to our beliefs. In my view this later development is the greater tragedy for it tends toward being lukewarm to the Word and God, and this the Lord hates. Evangelical churches serve the great purpose of holding up the divine authority of the Word and Christ. Both nevertheless are under the providential guidance of the Lord and serve to connect humanity in varying degrees to receive knowledge of the Lord and heaven.

Understanding the ‘Captives’ in the Bible Key to Understanding Redemption

July 19th, 2015

To get a strong sense of the big picture in the Bible it is essential to understand what is meant by ‘the captives,’ and similarly by the descent of Jesus into hell. I have discussed this theme in part before in this blog but it is worth understanding it further. The captives are a direct result of the loss of equilibrium. Most people are familiar with the story of the Lord descending into hell and releasing the captives after his ascension to heaven, but obtaining a real sense of what this means is elusive without an understanding of the loss of equilibrium.

The captives are those who were unjustly intercepted by evil spirits when they died and were held in a pseudo-heavens. When people first enter the spiritual world, they usually seek out loved ones, and they are always attended by angels. However, during the imbalance, evil spirits had undue power in the world of spirits and heaven. The evil spirits used their arts to deceive the new spirits, and, by persuasion and deception, they seduced these people to enter their own city, whether they were good or bad. The city, or the society, the renegade spirits created was not heaven or hell, but rather it was a pseudo-heaven created by the evil spirits where the good and the bad lived together as they did on earth. These pseudo heavens were below the real heaven in the world of spirits, which is between heaven and hell. They were run by evil spirits that posed as good leaders. These cities were defying the laws of the Lord’s divine order, and are a tragic situation that is greatly lamented by the angels. As we have shown before this is part of the decline of religion. Lets look at this in scripture.

This theme of the captives is described in many places in the Word, but perhaps nowhere better than in the parable of the wheat and the chaff. This parable describes how an enemy sowed the chaff with the wheat, which is where chaff doesn’t belong. The two become inextricably tied together, and the Lord tells them to not separate the two until the time of the harvest. After telling the parable about the plants, He then tells the internal meaning of the story to the disciples. The parable is an overview of the judgement, and a description of the process of it. The events described partly take place on earth, but mostlyin the spiritual world. The events described in Revelation are a detailed description of how the Lord separated out the good and the evil in each particular place, otherwise known as the judgment. Without an understanding of the correspondential meaning of the cities, places, and events in Revelation, and without an understanding of how these apply to the spiritual world, it is hard to get a grasp of how to understand that book. It is often asked, “Why did the Lord allow the good and evil to remain together until the harvest?” We will address this question because it helps to give us a tangible understanding of the process.

The activity in the psuedo heavens in the spriritual world mirror what was happening in the church on earth, and we can get an idea of the dynamics there by by observing them in the Jewish religion. The religious leaders of the ancient Jews had become mostly power obsessed. They claimed authoruty to themsselvs and kept the people under their power with all the strict religious rules. The people themselves though, still learned of God and religion from them, and if they practiced thier faith sincerely, even if it had falsities, they received some degree of connection to the Word and heaven. The religious leaders had to act according to the laws and keep up appearences even if inwardly they were evil. In this way the two were inistrictably tied together. The leaders served the purpose of religion, even though they were evily motivated, so the Lord could not seperate them from the people until the time was right to obolish the representative church. The same kind of thing was taking place in the psuedo heavens in the spirituul world. The leaders were sheltered from the Lord’s immediate judgement because they were serving a religious purpose to the common people, that is, they provided knowledge of the Word to the people and oversaw all the functions of the temple that provided correspondences to heaven. But when the Lord came into the world everything was prepared for all this to change, and each person would receive justice occording to their internal state. The captives specifically then are those who were unjustly kept in the psuedo heavens of the spiritual world. In the Old testament the attack and insurection of evil forces on the world of spirits and the first levels of heaven (and the resulting psuedo heavens) is told by correspondences in the story of the Tower of Babel, and in Isaiah:

And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there.And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them thoroughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for morter.And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth (Gen. 11:2-4).

Thou mayest take up this parable concerning the king of Babylonia. Jehovah hath broken the staff of the wicked, the scepter of those having dominion; thou, Lucifer, hast fallen from heaven; thou art cut down even to the earth; thou hast said in thy mind, I will ascend into the heavens; I will exalt my throne over the stars of God, and I sit on the mountain of the assembly, in the sides of the north, I will become like the Most High. Nevertheless thou shalt be cast down into hell, to the sides of the pit; I will cut off the name and residue of Babylon and will cause her to become an hereditary possession of the bittern (Isaiah 14:4, 5, 12, 13, 14, 15, 22, 23).

These scriptures tell how evil minded leaders used and abused the power of the Word to set up false heavens and control the people, but were finally taken down in the judgement. Swedenborg writes of the Tower of Babel:

By Babylon are meant all who wish to have dominion by religion. To have dominion by religion, is to have dominion over men’s souls, thus over their very spiritual life, and to use the Divine things, which are in their religion, as the means. All those who have dominion for an end, and religion for the means are in general Babylon. They are called Babylon because such dominion began in ancient times; but it was destroyed in its beginning. Its commencement is described by the city and the tower, the head of which was to be in heaven (AC 54).

The man…who does not acknowledge a God, is under the dominion of infernal spirits. Knowing this, (leaders) who build Babylonish towers make themselves a name by means of doctrinal and holy things, for otherwise they could not be worshiped, which is signified in what next follows by their otherwise being scattered over the faces of the whole earth, that is, they would not be acknowledged. And from this it follows that the higher such men can lift up the head to heaven, the more they make themselves a name. Their dominion is greatest over those who have some conscience; for these they lead whithersoever they will; but as to those who have not conscience, they rule all such by means of various external bonds (AC 1308).

The tower of Bable is a corresondential description of how the evil forces would build the false heavens in the world of spirits and infultrate the natural and spiritual heaven. If the process just described had continued without correction, the captives and eventually all of humanity would have lost all freedom at the hand of evil spirits.

All of what has proceeded in this book is meant to lead to one particular point: the perception of the magnificence of what the Lord has done for us as the redeemer. We have seen how the people were subject to the cosmic power of sin and death. If this had gone on unchecked, oblivion would have been the result. Without freedom, we are nothing. The freedom to do good is the only real power humans have; for its opposite, to commit to doing evil, is spiritual death. In spiritual death the evil spirits still have power to pursue their interets, but their internals are closed, which means their soul is dead to life. On earth, freedom can be taken away by political systems, economic circumstance, family roles, and many other things, but we have an internal freedom in our soul that cannot be taken away. The former is external, and the later internal. Inside, despite our circumstances, we have a fighting spirit that upholds our identity, passion, and loves. No-one expressed this better than Victor Frankl, the great psycholigist who lived through the Natzi concentration camps; and related his story and beliefs in ‘Mans Search for Meaning’. I see human freedom as a series of concentric circles. It is possible for our freedom to become smaller and smaller within these cirlces, but, no matter how small the outside gets, inside it cannot be taken away. We can choose how we deal with and how we feel about our cricumstances, and by the love in our heart.

In the light of what we have revealed in this article, I believe it is spiritually very healthy to recognize that the Lord alone maintains the equilibrium, and thus that freedom is entirely a gift from God; for with this awareness comes a sense of humility and gratitude toward Him.