WHAT IT MEANS TO BE BORN AGAIN, AND THE PROCESS BY WHICH IS MAY BE IDENTIFIED: THE EXAMPLE OF NICODEMUS

February 5th, 2022
 
I think this is something the Lord only knows and governs but I think we can see signs of it from within themself if we are very honest. Being born again is a process of being regenerated from the evils in our nature that we have from head to toe. This is always a process but the point of being ‘born again’ is when the Lord trusts is to enter into internal knowledge and love of the Word. It is a process getting there and afterward. The Lord only allows a person into the internal sense of the Word and a relationship with Him when He sees that a person will be true to it to the end of life. If one were to turn against their love of the Word or the Lord – it has terrible consequence in the spiritual world. For once it is loved the bond with the Word cannot be removed; it remains forever. But if one then turns against it, this denial is of hate, and the person now has the other foot in hell.
 
This duplicity is not allowed in the spiritual world. There is no such thing as being neutral to the Lord. We are ‘either for or against Him’, there is no in between, He is the ‘plumb line’, the measure of all things. It is not possible to have one foot in heaven and one in hell because heavenly light and hellish light cannot exist together or be in the same place. Every person must have a ruling love that is heavenly or hellish. This is why all that are capable of being in heaven are gradually vastated of the hellish loves and beliefs; and all those going to hell are vastated of heavenly beliefs and loves. All this shows how important it is that one only be allowed into the internal of the Word when they are truly ready. This is the seminal point of transition, and the Lord from His infinite wisdom governs all of this.
Nicodemus is a good example of this in the Bible. “Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” This is clearly a very literal and external idea of what Jesus means by ‘being born again of the spirit’. Being born of the spirit is of the internal man, and the internal man grows out of the external man’s grief and loss. A new plant grows out of the manure of the old plant. One does not put ‘New wine in old wine skin’ is the Bibles concise expression of this.
It is likely that Nicodemus defended Jesus in counsels of the Sanhedrin concerning Jesus’ trial, (though we don’t see this directly in the Word), but after His resurrection it is written: “And Nicodemus, who at first came to Jesus by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds”. By saying ‘who at first came to Him in the night’ the Word is showing that Nicodemus now comes to the Lord ‘in the light’. Also, Nicodemus’ great gesture of giving the gifts shows his love and devotion. The gifts given represent the gifts of the spirit that Nicodemus received in his heart and mind, which is a great indication of his transformation to the internal relationship.

How It Is that Scripture and Life Show that All Angels Are Former Humans

May 16th, 2020

I don’t believe God is alone. He has all creation. He has all the time in the world to be present to the one as much as the all. He has no needs but one – to be of use, thus he made all creation.

In Hebrews 7:16: “Jesus became a priest, not by meeting the physical requirement of belonging to the tribe of Levi, but by the power of a life that cannot be destroyed.

Only Jesus has the power of ‘a life that cannot be destroyed’. This means that He is the source of life, and only He has intrinsic life. Only He is uncreated from the beginning. All others that exist, including humans and angels are receptacles of Life. As I have said before our soul, and the soul of angles, are receptacles of life and the Lord is the source.
The scripture above also means that it is an immutable fact that what comes from the divine will will come true.
We have often heard the phrase, “There is none good but God’. Most Christians say this, and it is absolutely true. None is to be worshiped but God because He is all good, the source of life. Only He is uncreated from the beginning. All others are, including angels, are tainted with hereditary evil. Only God is worthy to be worshiped
In Revelation John kneels and tries to worship the angel that shows him the Holy City, and the angel tells John, “Stand, Do not do that, you and I are brethren, only God is to be worshiped”. He says this because people and angels are in the same position and relation to God; both are equally in a position of humility to the Lord. There is no ratio between the wisdom of God and that of humans or angels. It is a structural and immutable truth that all good comes from God. Humans have hereditary evil from head to toe, and angels still have hereditary evils but they are ‘dormant’ in the perimeter of their being. The Lord can activate them at anytime for the sake of a lesson. Only the divine human is without any hereditary evil. Jesus entirely removed it from his human body in the Glorification and Resurrection, which was the ultimate birthing.

Everything alive that exists is born by the birth process. It is a universal principle that life arises from the union of the natural and the spiritual. Everything in the natural world and spiritual world come about by process. We see from science that a tree, a chemical reaction, the growth of a child, anything you can think of involves a gradual process. It is the same thing in the spiritual world. All growth, fulfillment and the expression of love is through process. This is a manifestation of God’s (mind bending) universal principle that ‘God follows His own laws of divine order’. Nothing is made by magic out of nothing – there has to be a natural foundation for anything to exist and to have come from. The master example of this that should end all doubt is that God himself was birthed on earth. Are angels greater than God that they should not be birthed? Mary said to the angel, “How will this take place, since I have not had intercourse?” The angel replied, said to her, “The Holy Spirit will descend upon you, and the power of the Highest will cover you; therefore the Holy One that is born from you will be called the Son of God.” This scripture shows that the birth process is a universal process. We’re all made “in His image”; this statement includes all the processes that go with being human – the birthing, consciousness, freedom, becoming, death and regeneration. God is the original human, thus the human form and all its processes are universal processes; only, the Lord is infinite and uncreated; all humans and angels are finite and birthed.
To become angles, which basically means to enter heaven, there is a spiritual birthing. To be ‘born again’ is a process of regenerating our soul. From birth we have hereditary evil from head to toe and we have to overcome it and remove enough to be receptive to heaven. We have to be prepared for heaven by a cleansing. Our ultimate spiritual birthing is to become angels in heaven. That is God’s desire for this from creation.

Because Heaven arises from the human race, and heaven is a dwelling with the Lord to eternity, we can see that the very end purpose of creation is for all born to be in heaven. Everyone must go through the whole process, but not all make it. All angels and demons too are former humans.
Having said this I don’t think there is any harm in Believing God created angels. I have many clients who think this and I see no good in changing it; it is part of their faith. For those motivated to be seekers, I think the above is particular to the truth. There is a literal and an internal sense to the Word. The literal can easily be misconstrued if one doesn’t consider the internal. Above I am speaking of the internal sense. For instance the word ‘midwife’ in the Word doesn’t just refer to a woman that helps with birth but it refers to the universal process by which all things, including angels are born by the birth process between the natural and the physical.

In addition small children who die go to heaven and grow there to become angels. The reason is is that children have not yet formed a conscience that discerns between good and evil, and thereby they all can be taught to receive heaven, and eventually become angels.

The Union of Love and Wisdom: Why the Orgasm is Most Transcendent Experience of the Body

January 13th, 2016

In some ways it may seem simple to the reader that there is a marriage of the natural and spiritual, – and so it is – , but what is most simple is also most profound and complex – for it is the most universal. There are thousands of places to quote from Swedenborg about the principle of union; here is one that expresses the nitty-gritty of the union of the natural and spiritual, and that demonstrates how it is the essential of all spiritual growth. I pick this because it is about spiritual birth, or in Christian parlance, being ‘born again’. This quote from Swedenborg comes from a discussion of the meaning of the word midwife in scripture.

‘That the midwife said to her, Do not be afraid’ means perception received from the natural…when the interior man undergoes temptations, the natural is like a midwife. For unless the natural assists no birth of interior truth is possible, since it is the natural that receives interior truths into its bosom once these are born; indeed it is the natural that enables them to push their way out. The same applies to instances of spiritual birth, in that reception must take place wholly within the natural. This is the reason why, when a person is being regenerated, the natural is first of all made ready to receive, and to the extent it is then able to receive, interior truths and goods are able to emerge and multiply. This also explains why, if the natural man has not been made ready during the life of the body to receive the truths and goods of faith, that person cannot receive them in the next life and so cannot be saved. This is the implication of the common saying ‘As the tree falls, so it must lie’, meaning, what a person is when he dies, so he comes to be. For a person has with him in the next life his whole natural memory, that is, the memory belonging to his external man, though he is not allowed to use it in that life. In the next life therefore that memory serves as the groundwork on which interior truths and goods rest; but if that groundwork is not able to support the goods and truths which flow into it from within, interior goods and truths are either annihilated, or perverted, or cast aside. From all this it may be seen that the natural is like a midwife (AC 4588).

This quote shows that spiritual birth or being ‘born again’ is a gradual, rigorous, and painful process, and as we know from life this growth is recognized at certain seminal moments. In this process the spirit must lead while the natural is the means as we know from the interaction of the spirit, mind, and body. The master example of what Swedenborg is saying here is the life of Jesus himself, because the glorification process begins with God being born on earth in a material human body, and His body is the vehicle for the astounding wisdom and acts of love he achieves. This is what makes Him knowable and lovable to all humanity. As He overcomes every temptation, and fulfills each prophecy by his loving acts of service in His natural body, He manifests (or births) new levels of love and wisdom in the world. The resurrection is the ultimate birthing in that Jesus raised his human body into the spiritual world, making it divine.

In us humans for change and salvation to take place our body and feelings need to be prepared for it; the sensation of feelings in the body are the means by which spiritual change becomes rooted and substantial. Thoughts and affections are part physical and part spiritual and how we process them determines whether our soul is gradually formed into a heavenly (or hellish) state. The essential function of the natural can also be seen in the way the sense of touch is the universal medium for love; love yearns to be expressed and fulfilled through touch. Indeed there is no greater pleasure than true love expressed in the sex act; love and touch together in harmony increase pleasure and intimacy, and bring a sense of spiritual fulfillment in our soul. The orgasm in Sex is the most transcendent experience the body can feel because of its use, and because of its corresponds to the active union that takes place in marriage love. True marriage love and sex in heaven are from pure innocence with wisdom, and produce an unspeakable goodness and delight. They are the essential part of the union of love and wisdom of a man and woman, a man predominantly being a form of wisdom and a woman a from of love. The attributes of the physical body of a man and woman correspond to the attributes of the soul qualities of each; for instance a man’s physique is usually stronger and rougher as he corresponds to a intellectual form, and a woman’s is softer and more comely as they correspond to a form of love. When there is love between them they perceive each other in greater and greater detail, and their will is filled with the same desire of giving to the other; at the same time they are in spontaneously gratitude to the Lord. Since the will is the essential thing of the self, in the Bible it is said, “the two shall become one”. The two become one in that their will’s become ever closer. This oneness is not vague but involves every particular of the individuals character, soul attributes, and life skills, all of which grow and come into greater and greater distinctiveness and intimacy for eternity. Each particular bond is a struggle into birth, and is experienced in the body with incredible delight. Indeed the orgasm of the body, and true marriage love of the soul are the most transcendent experience of the body, and the soul respectively; because the end purpose of each is part of the continuum of correspondences that serves the highest use in the universe; that continuum moving from the procreation of the human race to the ultimate purpose of life in the universe – which is to populate the Lord’s heavenly kingdom.