MEDITATION ON THE MEANING OF HE WHO ASCENDED AND DESCENDED

October 26th, 2020

From Ephesians in the Bible:“But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. Wherefore he saith, when he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.(Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)”

 

Light from the Lord can be compared to the scientific dynamics demonstrated in natural light: to our vision light is white, but when sent through a prism it is shown to have particular and unique colors with innumerable gradations. Within the light and heat from Jesus (proceeding from Him as the spiritual sun) is contained wisdom and love, which, when received in the will and the understanding of humans is expressed as innumerable spiritual gifts, talents, and uses. This is also described in Revelation 21: “And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations”.The river is the Holy fire that proceeds from the Lord like a fountain to all life and is received in the souls humans. The leaves of the tree of life and its fruit are all the particular truths and gifts that grow and come to fruition in humanity. In man to express wisdom is to express internalized and particularized gifts of use to others. These spring forth from his divine soul to ours; this is expressed in the phrase, “But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ”.

 

“He who descended is also he who ascended”: this is an extraordinary scripture that has an unfathomable depth of meaning, but I will characterize as I can. It is very similar to the scripture, “He is the alpha and Omega”. It means that in the culmination of the glorification process, (which I explain extensively on my blog), Jesus reached a state of love which had never existed before, and the height of it corresponds to the depths that he entered. He went through an infinite crucible process, He subjugated all the forces of evil and put them in their place (which is the meaning of ‘he led captivity captive’); and He completely overcame all the temptations put upon him so that He utterly purified His body of all hereditary evil and made it divine. At the some time He completely restored the equilibrium between heaven and hell that had been lost, and in so doing restored the integrity of heaven. In doing this he also restored, one by one, all the avenues of connection between the psyche of man and the structure of heaven. These connections in the psyche of man had atrophied and been lost by the working of evil, evil had succeeded in closing man’s internals. ‘He who descended is also he who ascended’ means that the new height and depth that Jesus reached had correspondence in their new extent to each other. By the depths we mean that He entered the natural/material world as a baby for the first time. This is the first time God had ever been born in the natural world as a human. He suffered and humbled himself to do this and in the course of his life (the glorification process) He made his human body divine in the resurrection, which utterly defies all the laws of physics in the natural world. Defying the immutable laws of the physical world can only be done by entering and becoming the innermost – the new law – of all things! This was an act of such love, wisdom and power it made the presence of the divine burn in the natural world exponentially brighter. Light can come in only to the degree that evil is removed. Because so much had been overcome for such a profound use (saving all mankind) Jesus entered and opened a state of love that had never existed before, (which is expressed in the scripture ‘up far above the heavens’). This breadth of expansion in the natural world and the heavens brought liberty, and potential fulfillment, to the souls of men; and it brought astounding awe and joy to the angels of heaven, which is expressed in many verses in Revelation.

In the highest part of our soul God is in us, and by this we are always tethered to Him, and we are connected to each other in a (potentially) meaningful way. This connection is beyond our normal conscious perception, but in certain seminal moments it can be felt and known. After the resurrection because so much more light was available this could be felt much more readily as the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the presence of the Lord; a very real presence and comfort in our life, and that which guides us to face our evils so we can make room in our soul for good.

This is why on the timeline of history the resurrection bursts like a sun! In the end all things and people are defined by their attitude toward the Lord, whether they love Him or hate Him. This is why to be a Christian one needs to believe that Jesus resurrected and made His body divine and is God.

The Story of the Woman Who Had ‘a Flow of Blood’: Principles Demonstrating the Transformation of Her Soul

March 24th, 2020

From the Bible, Luke 8: But as He went, the multitudes thronged Him. 43 Now a woman, having a flow of blood for twelve years, who had spent all her livelihood on physicians and could not be healed by any, 44 came from behind and touched the border of His garment. And immediately her flow of blood stopped.

45 And Jesus said, “Who touched Me?”

When all denied it, Peter and those with him said, “Master, the multitudes throng and press You, and You say, ‘Who touched Me?’ ”

46 But Jesus said, “Somebody touched Me, for I perceived power going out from Me.” 47 Now when the woman saw that she was not hidden, she came trembling; and falling down before Him, she declared to Him in the presence of all the people the reason she had touched Him and how she was healed immediately.

48 And He said to her, “Daughter, be of good cheer; your faith has made you well. Go in peace.”

Stories in the Bible contain wondrous principles of life and truth to live by. When the woman touched His robe, Jesus knew it for he felt ‘power go out of Him’. Jesus has perception of the natural and spiritual world at the same time.  To touch is to connect, and because of her yearning and belief His power was received and healed her. Jesus is power. His power is entirely from good, which is the greatest and true power. God, the soul of Jesus, is in the midst of the spiritual sun which radiates love and wisdom and sustains all the universe and life. The soul of us human beings are receptacles of life from him. The woman yearned for him in her suffering, she loved him. She was beginning to know who He is, and all this made her receptive to Him. So she received according to her faith; power flowed into her. The relationship between Jesus and man is reciprocal, and to the degree there is mutual love and understanding a bond is formed, if  there is no reception, then there is no bond. People like the pharisees can’t receive, ‘their sin remains’, because they think they know better, and hate Him for being the real thing. This closes the internals of their soul and they can not receive. 

     Swedenborg often writes, ‘For on the lowest levels of good and truth which spring from the Divine there is might and power’. By lowest level he means the material world. The material or natural world is a container and foundation of good and truth so in its expression at the point of touch it comes into its full power, because the point of touch is where it is transferred, given and received. It is like water traveling through a large pipe, but when the pipe narrows it gains more pressure and shoots out strong. To this point Swedenborg further explains; ‘the external holds all the interior things in their order, and in their form and connection, insomuch that if the external were removed, the internal things would be dispersed; for internal things not only cease in the external, but they are also together in it”. This is a function of the universal principle that life springs from the union of the natural and the spiritual, and this is no more profoundly found than in the fact God became human in the physical world and through the course of his life made His human divine. For humans, like the woman who touched the hem of his robe ,the moment of union is an epiphany.

    The miracles Jesus performed for the ‘poor’ (this word is meant more in the sense of the spiritually poor, those who don’t have truth but yearn for it), are of course wondrous and involve this internal process, but in terms of faith miracles are an external measure. The greatest miracle is the transformation of one’s soul. Jesus admonished the people for always wanting signs and miracles because He wanted internal transformation, not external, but He knew it was a step. To any one with any reason the miracles show that Jesus is divine, but most still did not accept that He was the Messiah, much less God. The miraculous healing of the body was a great mercy for those that had a measure of belief, but for those observing they were a sensational measure that did not necessarily change a persons heart. Miracles compelled people to believe and for this reason miracles are usually not allowed. They were used to seed a people who had become very external in nature. They were allowed in the time of Jesus and after for a while, for the  very reason Jesus came was that evil had overrun heaven and the earth and caused a disequilibrium between heaven and hell. In the disequilibrium evil could compel people and spirits to hell, which is the most awful of things. Miracles were a counter-balance to this in that miracles compelled people to faith. Evil had accumulated in the world and in the spiritual world to the point it would have overrun the universe if it were not corrected. God, as Jesus, suffered himself to be born on earth to defeat all the forces of evil that had run out of control, to teach the people how to be in genuine faith and love again, and to restore the integrity of heaven. 

The verse, ‘she came trembling; and falling down before Him, she declared to Him in the presence of all the people the reason she had touched Him and how she was healed immediately’, is very important. The woman was seen by Jesus into her whole soul, and thought it was frightening she accepted it and loved it. ‘Trembling’ indicates a change of being, and so it is an intense and seminal experience. In this it is important for the change that one speak from their own self and bear the truth honestly so that there is complete transfer and ownership. It is also significant that there were witnesses to hear it and see it. This is similar to the purpose of witnessing in weddings where the parties declare their consent in the presence of witnesses. This confirms in community and in the world the change of state in the woman’s soul, and thus establishes it. All of these verses speak to the transformation of her soul – the greatest miracle of all – for it leads to salvation in heaven, which is God’s end purpose for all.

A Description of What An Apocalypse Really Is And How Evangelicals Misinterpret the Second Coming; And, How it Is that In Truth We Are Now In the Good News of the New Jerusalem

December 19th, 2019

“Therefore my people have gone into captivity, Because they have no knowledge; Their honorable men are famished,
And their multitude dried up with thirst. Therefore Sheol has enlarged itself. And opened its mouth beyond measure”. (Isaiah 5: 13,14)

A time of Loss of equilibrium, otherwise known as an apocalypse, has happened three times in history – at the flood in the time of Noah, before and at the Incarnation of Jesus, and at the time of the second coming. These are times of true apocalypse, because once the imbalance begins to go toward evil there is no power to stop it, other than God. In these times it’s amazing to see how God follows his own rules of divine order, meaning there has to be a process of how to overcome the problem in the natural and the spiritual world in tandem. God corrected it differently each time.
Loss of Equilibrium is when accumulation of evil becomes greater than that of good in the natural and spiritual world. In this condition to the degree there is an imbalance there is a measure of loss of freedom for man, which is a horrible thing. The imbalance is always toward evil because evil is always the initiator and aggressor of attack. In normal circumstances, (by normal I mean when there is equilibrium), neither demons or angels can compel a person toward heaven or hell; they can influence and persuade but they cannot violate free will. In the disequilibrium evil gains the ability to be able to compel people to evil which is the cause of the horror of a time of Apocalypse. Once disequilibrium starts it will only increase for it is the eternal desire of hell to destroy mankind and turn them into demons. Human beings by themselves cannot fight the arts of hell in a disequilibrium, only the power and love and presence of God can help one fight it. Those who are in this love can be protected. Our acknowledgement of Him and our love of Him receives His presence within. The relationship between God and man is reciprocal in this way.
In the centuries before Christ there was a long decline in the Jewish religion that resulted in dire separation from God. In the accumulating darkness, as people died and entered the spiritual world, evil spirits intercepted even the good through artful deceptions and led them into the cities of their false heaven. This caused an overabundance toward the evil realm. These false heavens with their deceptive leaders were bringing good people to their side in great abundance. (Apparently most of these in their heart did not become evil, but were controlled and manipulated by evil. I think God knew their heart and protected because it was the just thing to do.) Those in the real heaven were greatly distressed that good people were deceived and held in these cities. They lamented the loss and beseeched the Lord to release them. Swedenborg describes how the leaders of these cities sometimes posed as religious leaders, or even family members to persuade people to their side. These pseudo-heavens were below heaven in the world of spirits. The spirits who were held in these false heavens are known in the Bible as the captives, which I have written about more on my blog. The over-accumulation of spirits (people who have died) in these cities of pseudo-heavens caused a dark cloud, as it were, between heaven and earth. Understanding this is key because it is a significant part of the process that caused disequilibrium. The increasing cities of the false heaven actually obstructed the reception of heavenly influx to humanity on earth, thus accelerating darkness. This is what is meant by “Sheol has enlarged itself and opened its mouth beyond measure.” As the false heavens grew larger, the dark cloud of interference between heaven and earth grew greater. The less heavenly light there was for humanity on earth, the more power evil gained. Here is another verse that refers to the loss of equilibrium between heaven and hell: “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (John 6:12). This verse refers to a battle and evil forces infiltrating and occupying ‘high places,’ meaning heaven. As the forces of evil grew, they were like a marauding army ransacking the first levels of heaven, and taking residence; constantly deceiving the people in the world of spirits and the angels in the lower heaven in a thousand horrid ways. Matthew describes this when he says, “And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force” (Mat. 11:12).

But here is the great good news. The second coming has been accomplished. We are now in the ‘Church of the New Jerusalem’ that is spoken of in Revelation. In accomplishing the second coming the Lord promised He would never allow a disequilibrium to happen again. What is so significant about this is that it profoundly impacts our Christian world view. Many evangelicals feel and predict that there is still an apocalypse to come, the events of the millennium and all that implies could come any time. This expectation involves a great deal of gloom and doom. It is often preached that terrible, dark times are to come, that Christ is to come back on the earth and lead a great parade on a white horse, and the chosen will be raised to heaven and so on. (In reality the ‘chosen being raised to heaven’ refers to the great joy of the captives who the Father released from the false heavens – this is known as the harvest time). But for hundreds of years and still now-a-days people are constantly conjecturing that so and so was, or is the anti-Christ, and various world events are ‘signs of the millennium’. Some say Hitler was the anti-Christ. Now liberals say Trump is, and conservatives say Obama was, but none of this is the case.
In the Church of the New Jerusalem the state of things is that there is great good news, but there is no free ride. The good news is Christ is present to us directly and immediately and He will never not be so. There is no coming apocalypse. The difficult news is that this world of earth-life is always in the balance between good and evil. As I have said many times before, in this world we suffer and have joy and learn, because we are in freedom, and we need to be reformed and repentant to remove evil inclination in us. Freedom is the double-edged sword that is both the means of salvation and the cause of hell! This life is both amazingly wonderful and one hell of a bitch. Hell cannot compel us and heaven can’t give us a free ride. In today’s world there is a lot of genuine charity in the church, and there is also a lot of falsity, ill-will, and alienation in the world. We have the Trump movement, and we have the globalist/socialist movement battling it out. That’s the nature of equilibrium, it goes up and down, and all around, but we’re are still free working things out. We are protected by Christ – should we choose to accept it. In that we can always trust!

How God Maintains Human Freedom; And Why it Cannot Be But that There Is an Equilibrium Between Good and Evil in the Universe

September 9th, 2019
There is an equilibrium between good and evil in the universe, and this is true in every detail and particular. For every good society in heaven there is a counter and opposite evil society in hell. Both heaven and hell have innumerable gradations and each particular one is the opposite polarity of its counterpart. At the same time, it is entirely true that God is never less than pure Good, love and wisdom. It is difficult to understand how these are both true, but a worthwhile study to be able to articulate to our self how it is so.
I think the answer lies in following the implication of the following (mind bending) principle to its end: God is omnipotent and omnipresent AND, at the same time, God follows his own laws of divine order.
 
To begin God did not create evil. The existence of evil is inevitable with freedom. (This is what the story of the fall is about). Man is the cause of evil. It is important to embrace the truth that God is never anything less than pure love and wisdom. It is abhorrent to even think that the divine could think, create, or be evil. If God were to do evil for an instant the universe would cease to exist – similar to the way in a sun, once it begins to produce iron in its core it is mere seconds away from exploding. God sustains the whole of the universe every moment by his might alone with the same power it took to create the universe. Understanding that God is never less than love seems to be very elusive for many people, but it is extremely important. In Him is infinite variety, infinite wisdom, and infinite love. God is self-contained, and has no need but one, and that is to be of use to mankind.
 
Man can only be man, that is, he can only have a self if he is in freedom, and freedom inherently includes the possibility of willing evil – there is no escaping this reality. So as shown in the story of the fall man abused freedom, and it gradually came to be that there is an equilibrium between good and evil and between heaven and hell. Heaven and hell can both influence man, but neither can compel man, for if they were to compel the will of man that would compromise freedom. Many people choose evil. So evil is caused by man, not God, but God allows it so that man can have life. Man’s life exists by virtue of forming a ruling love that he freely chooses. An important scripture that speaks to the inevitability of equilibrium in the universe and our choice in determining our place is this: “Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!” The first rule to receiving God is to resist evil. To the degree we reject evil we can receive God and His good. Without strife we cannot appreciate harmony, without ugliness we cannot appreciate beauty, without conflict there is no story. There must be contrast and variety for there to be life, growth, and perception. Contrast and variety provide the vitality in life. If everything were monotone, as in a white-out, or black-out, there would be no perception or individual identity.
 
This is why it is inherent to the life of humanity that it can not be otherwise but that there is good and evil; but the most essential reason there is equilibrium between heaven and hell is that freedom is the fulcrum upon which the life, self-hood, and the salvation of man depends. Freedom is both the means of salvation and the cause of hell. Human freedom stands upon the point of perfect balance between good and evil, and God alone maintains this balance point with his infinite might. If one or the other were to begin to increase in power above the other freedom would be compromised and man’s self-hood would be lost. Man’s freedom is a sacred law of divine order, for humans have no existence without it. Three times in history hell began to over-run heaven; at the time of Noah, the advent of Jesus, and in the second coming. Each time God had a plan and by his might alone corrected it.
 
It is an important to see that Human salvation completely depends on freedom. In grasping this we can look to a simple truth that we all know and experience, and that is, that to have a friend, or to be in love with someone, we know it must be mutual; both parties must agree to the bond. In the same way the relationship between man and God is reciprocal; it is not possible for humans to bond with God unless we act in freedom from the love from our own will. He is always turned to us, and, as He said, ‘we must turn to Him’. In love and awareness; love is of the will, and awareness of the mind – they are the heat and light that forge the bond between humans and God.
 
Nevertheless, the last thing this equilibrium means is that good and evil can be relativized. Good and evil are opposite and utterly abhorrent. This is why in the spiritual world heaven and hell are completely separate and cannot mix. But here on earth we are in the midst of good and evil. The truth that they are in equilibrium does not take away from the terrible consequences of evil choices in life. This is what is meant by the statement, ‘woe to that man by whom the offence cometh.’ In the battle between good and evil, it is paramount that we favor the good in our heart. Whether it bears fruit or not, we must still try for God knows our heart and our salvation depends on it.
 
Furthermore, it is helpful to see that it is a universal truth that nothing can exist unless it is in equilibrium. (This is a huge subject I have written about on my blog, so I wont say much about it here, but it is essential to this subject, so will say a little.) Equilibrium is true of the sun; it is true of an atom, and everything in between and beyond. The reason equilibrium is universal is that it is the nature of God. In God it is called the Holy marriage, which is between His divine human and soul. The natural creation that most corresponds to God is the sun. The sun is a raging equilibrium between the force of gravity and nuclear fusion in its core, that results in a sphere. The nature of God is union. The truth that God follows his own define laws is a paradox of the nature of union in him, i.e., He is the creator and sustainer of man’s freedom and He will not violate man’s freedom. We see this in the Gospel many times, for instance when He tells Peter to put away his sword at His arrest: “Don’t you know I could bring down legions of angels to destroy my enemies?” But He doesn’t because He knows Man can only be transformed in freedom, and does not transgress this. God made his human divine, and the two are one in union, and this is the fountain from which all life springs. So everything that exists in order to exist no matter how big or small is in a state of equilibrium. This is an expression of how all things repeat the form of that which created it.
 
Now having said all this, the best way to see how life is a battle between good and evil is to look in our self, in the problems of those around us, in history, in politics today, and at the books of the Bible.

A Study on the Meaning of the Magnificent Prayer that Jesus Prayed For Himself (John 17: 1-5): And How it Is That Jesus Broke the Unbreakable Law of Nature.

May 26th, 2019

After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed:

“Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.

Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. The hour has come refers to the last temptation and the coming resurrection. Jesus and God are one but from being born on earth there is a change. To glorify means to make divine; and the whole arch of Jesus life is to make His natural human body divine. In the process of doing this He would ‘renew all things’. His soul is divine, and his body is natural. The rigorous process of the glorification is to make His natural body divine, and take it up into heaven. The resurrection is the transformation of his body from being natural to spiritual so it enters the spiritual world in the highest and the innermost. He prays to accomplish these things.

Before God come down to earth He is Jehovah, the one God. God has always been in the human form from the beginning; as He says we are ‘made in His image’. He was born on earth because a great separation had grown between Him and humanity to such a degree man would have been lost in abysmal darkness and perished. No man can approach God in his essence and live; it would be like approaching the sun. But to be born as a man on earth made Him the bridge; it made him accessible to humans without harming them, and He could also be in the presence of evil spirits without destroying their existence yet be able to defeat them. (I wont describe the whole Glorification process here but there are several articles on this blog where it is described in full detail.) 

For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. Jesus possesses within himself the love and wisdom to govern the whole universe. In the resurrection He became the innermost and that which is the innermost is present to and renews all things in the universe. Here is a good way to understand this: It defies the universal laws of physics to take the physical body into the spiritual world. We all know this is an impossibility from experience. But Jesus broke this universal law and actually raised His human body into heaven by making it divine in the glorification process. He who breaks such a universal law becomes the universal law. He does so not for himself but from a love for the whole of humanity and the universe that had never existed before. This is how He is granted ‘authority over all people’. He who is the highest is also the innermost of all things and thus governs from love. He paved the way for all people to have the chance to be restored. He did so by re-building the union between body and soul, and between earth and heaven, that had been almost completely destroyed by evil forces. He did this in the universal, and what is done in the universal is done in every particular for all things. What had become dark and disconnected in the psyche of man became connected and vivid again by Jesus blazing the path by overcoming all temptation from evil in His own human body. He prayed for the ability to do this.  He didn’t do this unilaterally for people; he restored the opportunity for all people to achieve salvation, but everyone has to walk the path with Him from our own desire. This is what it means that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. Also, at the same time, Jesus, by himself, restored the equilibrium between heaven and hell that had been lost and which constitutes the essence of man’s freedom, and this freedom that He alone provides – is the only means of salvation.

I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do. This is an enormous statement that has so much to do with why we love and worship Him, the only one who is worthy. He speaks honestly the truth about himself. It’s so wonderful because what He did was profoundly difficult to a degree far beyond human comprehension to understand. He is the hero of heroes.

‘On earth’ has two important meanings. One is that it refers to the natural world of earth. That sounds simple enough but there is a great distinction to make that is very enlightening about the phrase ‘Glory on earth’. As Jehovah from the beginning God was always the highest and in the celestial and spiritual realms, but being born on earth and resurrecting He entered the natural realm also for the first time. Now by being in ‘the whole’, that is the union of the celestial, spiritual and the natural, He made the light available to man exponentially brighter! Only when He was born on earth did He add the natural to Himself, and in so doing increased His power, presence, love. From this union He achieved flows the source of life, love and wisdom. This is what is meant by I am the Alpha and Omega, and the statement ‘I draw all things unto me’. It is also why the Holy Spirit comes into being after the resurrection. The Holy Spirit is Jesus; it is His presence in increased and direct relationship to all things.

The second thing is that in the internal sense ‘earth’ means the church of man on earth. While on earth Jesus started the new church. The old church had become completely external, bereft of genuine charity. There must be a genuine church at all times on earth for humanity to exist, so Jesus was born to do this. While on earth He taught people how to love again, He gave us the One to truly worship, He taught us how to know God, and He established an internal church on earth. He prayed for the ability to accomplish this.

And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began. Jesus prays to the Father to become One again as the divine human in the highest. Another utterly unique Quality of Jesus is this: God is the one from his infinite wisdom that puts all humans through trials and temptations for the sake of their growth and ultimate salvation. Jesus was the only one, and the only one who ever will, that gave himself temptations and trials. For Him this was the essential part of his Glorification process by which he removed hereditary evil from his human body. He prayed for the last temptation to achieve the resurrection. This is part of why He so often says ‘for the sake of fulfilling all prophecy, let it be done’. Jesus is the only one who went through the process of the Glorification (and the only one who ever will) for only God can do this. Humans go through the process of regeneration which corresponds to Jesus’ process of glorification. He prayed for these trials in full awareness of what they brought. But by no means did this make it easy. It was rigorous far beyond our ability to know as evidenced by His prayer in the Garden, ‘Father why have you foresaken me, but nevertheless let your will be done’.

Expanded Version: Exploring How it Is that There is an Infinite Largeness and an Infinite Minuteness in the Universe

August 17th, 2017
 
 
Just as there is an infinite largeness there is also an infinite minuteness. The infinite minuteness of matter is incomprehensible to the mind if thought of in a linear way which the human mind is conditioned to do by the material world. That there is an Infinite minuteness can be understood in this way: For anything to exist it must be in a state of equilibrium because this is what gives if form. For anything to have form it must be composed of something; for instance, an atom is composed of protons orbiting around the neutron, and in turn these protons and neutrons are formed of quarks. For quarks to exist they must be formed of something, which science is still pursuing. This process goes on and on without end.
 
 
In the spiritual world there is one spiritual sun in which God is in the midst, and this is the source that created all things that exist both physical and spiritual. Swedenborg says that the spiritual substance that proceeds from the spiritual sun distributes outward until it ‘cools’ and becomes matter. Science has shown that wave/particles appear spontaneously in space even in a vacuum, that nothing is really empty. Swedenborg tells that the same energy that took place in creation is taking place every moment of everyday. In theory, Swedenborg’s insight and science’s discovery are very much in harmony. From the spiritual world there is no limit to how minute something can begin. Here, I would like to show how infinity and minuteness are dynamic and can be understood by principles of science that correspond with heaven.
 
 
The master example of equilibrium, form, and internal parts is the sun. As is well known the natural sun is in a state of equilibrium between the force of gravity pushing-in and creating more and more heat and pressure; and the force of nuclear fusion exploding out. The force of this gravity is the very thing that ignites nuclear fusion. These two forces result in a balanced state that gives the sun its form. Equilibrium is on a macro and a micro level; anything one can think of is in equilibrium – a hat, a chair, an eco system, the earth, bodies, galaxies, the universe. Also, equilibrium is always in flux; for instance, protons may leave the orbit, but then the atoms settle into a new form of equilibrium. Eco-systems are an equilibrium. When new species are introduced to an eco-system, and it changes into another form of equilibrium. All the math of Einstein and Newton look to equal out to an equilibrium. God is the ultimate equilibrium. God is the divine-human. In Him is the holy marriage, or union, between His divine essence (or soul) and His divine body. The whole structure of the universe is based on an equilibrium between the forces of good and evil by which God provides freedom to humanity.
 
 
Now, here is the amazing thing: I think that the principles of infinite largeness and minuteness become understandable by the discovery that the universe is expanding at an ever accelerating rate. Everything is dynamic, including infinity. Infinite largeness includes that the universe is expanding; so infinity is not static but ever-increasing. Infinite largeness is infinite space with infinity things in it, and it is increasing eternally. The same principle, that is that the universe is expanding at the speed of light, also dynamically explains infinite minuteness. By this principle we can conceptualize that the universe is continually making more ‘room’ for the minute parts that compose the smaller parts of the last form. At the same time infinity also means the number of things in the universe are increasing eternally. So infinite smallness is also dynamic in that it included there is an allowance of particles and energy forms (that are in equilibrium), and that become ever smaller in an ever expanding space. It appears then, in a wonderful circle of truth, the principles of infinite largeness and smallness meet in dynamic union by the principle that the universe is expanding at the speed of light! This ‘circle of truth’ is universal in the nature of the universe because it is an expression of the principle of union. It is exemplified in the way gravity in the sun and nuclear fusion are opposite forces, but dependent on each other and meet at the point of ignition; it is exemplified in way that structure of the universe is determined by the equilibrium between the forces of heaven and hell, and the fulcrum point between is the source of man’s freedom.
 
 
Now it must be added that science has discovered that the universe is expanding not from one point, but from every point in space. This fact is very important because it corresponds to the spiritual sovereignty. Equilibrium is a physical expression of sovereignty because each Equilibrium is unique, and as science (and Swedenborg) tell, there is nothing that exist that is ever the same – no matter how small. That which is in equilibrium is self contained, or has a defined identity, while at the same time is connected to everything, and serving a purpose in the universe. Scientist say that each point in the universe is expanding even in the objects around us, say like a basketball, but locally it is on such a small scale that it cannot be seen or detected. I visualize this expansion at every point as a mushrooming-out like the cells of a fungus that expand. The expansion from every point, and from all the points next to each other, has a cumulative effect. The millions of billions of points expanding next to each other over billions of light years of space causes an exponential expansion at an ever accelerating rate.
 
 
The big difference in what I am saying and the way many scientist theories on this is that they say there is an end to the universe, that it will at some point die by stopping to expand and all the suns will run out of fuel, or, it will compress back into a single point again like it was before the big bang. I don’t think anything like this is correct. I base my reasoning for this view on the universal principle that that there is correspondence between everything in the natural world and the spiritual world. Most scientist of course don’t consider the spiritual world and don’t use or understand this as a factor. (There are, however, some scientists who believe in God and the spiritual world and may consider this in the pursuit of truth. Einstein is quoted as saying: “Science without religion is Lame, religion without science is blind”.)
 
 
So let us look at the nature of heaven and how it corresponds to the above description of the universe. It is a universal principle that the natural world is the foundation of heaven and neither can exist without the other. (The Lord tells us that ‘He will be with us Always’.) This principle shows that the natural world has to always exist for we know for certain that heaven and the spiritual world are eternal.
 
 
Now Swedenborg describes that the nature of heaven is that ‘the more that enter there, the more complete and perfect it becomes’; and that ‘the greater the diversity and variety there is the greater the harmony there is’. It is inherent in these principles that each individual is sovereign, each must be sovereign to have a whole, unique, meaningful identity; and that each person can make a valuable contribution to the whole whether big or small. This corresponds to the ‘sovereignty of space’ by the way space is expanding from every point, and each point contributes to the expansion.
 
 
It is also a universal principle of heaven that for heavenly joy to be so it has to be that joy is ever increasing. If it were to become stagnant it would lose its joy and this can never be. This would go against the nature of God – His promise to man, and His infinite capacity to give. So heaven is ever increasing by nature in joy. By the principles we have shown every new person (angel) that comes into heaven causes it to increases in perfection and thereby joy at the same time. One can see then how this corresponds to the natural universe in that it is expanding at an accelerating rate from all points. The state of heaven is the cause of everything that exists in the natural world.

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.