The Arc of Life, the Innocence of Childhood and the Innocence of Old Age: We begin in God and Return to God

January 12th, 2021

 

The Arc of Life, the Innocence of Childhood and the Innocence of Old Age: We begin in God and Return to God
 
“Because innocence attributes nothing of good to itself, but ascribes all good to the Lord, and because it thus loves to be led by the Lord, and is the source of the reception of all good and truth, from which wisdom comes,-because of this man is so created as to be during his childhood in external innocence, and when he becomes old in internal innocence… And when a man becomes old he dwindles in body and becomes again like a child, but like a wise child, that is, an angel, for a wise child is in an eminent sense an angel. This is why in the Word, “a little child” signifies one who is innocent, and “an old man” signifies one who is wise in whom is innocence (From ‘Heaven and Hell’ by Swedenborg).
 
This leads us to contemplate the arc of life, a symmetry between the beginning and the end. We come into life helpless and innocent, and, in old age, we return to a state of being helpless and innocent. Only in old age we have intelligence and experience added. In a way the whole trick of life is to retain and incorporate innocence with our intelligence and experience – in spite and because or the harsh battering of life in a material world that is in the balance of good and evil.
 
Intelligence in union with innocence is true wisdom. The innocence of infancy and early childhood is an external innocence because it has not yet bonded into our soul from our own will and conscience. Feeling, embracing and thus incorporating internal innocence into our intelligence is invaluable because it allows us to receive God and bond with God. God can only be received in humility and innocence is the soul of humility. To enter heaven ‘we must be like a child’ means that we have incorporated innocence into our adult intelligence.
 
An old person returning to being helpless and more like a child is, I believe, part of God’s plan to prepare us for heaven. In old age the compelling ambitions and uses of life have slowed to a trickle. Ambitions are appropriate and good for their time but now that time is over. Outwardly, very old people appear useless, but there is a purpose. It exists as a universal pattern therefore it has use, for God made it. One must turn inward.
 
As a hospice chaplain I work with lots of old folks at the end of life. Many people lose much of their function physically and mentally. We are brought to our knees and must submit to the condition given us. This humility helps ones soul to receive God. In the story of Zachariah, the father of John the Baptist, the angel comes to him and gives a magnificent speech about what is to come, and the purpose of the son that will be born to them -even though they are old and barren. Zachariah questions Gabriel; doesn’t believe him, wants assurances. Gabriel, the great angel, says, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to tell you this good news. And now you will be silent and not able to speak until the day this happens, because you did not believe my words, which will come true at their appointed time.”
 
Who would contest with such a presence and speech? We trust in God, that he gives us what we need, we may not understand it, but true faith is to strive to trust it. In old age He gives us less choice, and more humility. In old age so many people lose speech, hearing and many other abilities. It is a time for submitting to God, which brings greater peace.
 
Old age is a sort of pre-vastation. In the spiritual world everyone must be prepared for heaven (or hell); vastation is a ‘cleansing’ process. That which is of evil, pride, lust and greed must be removed from our soul before one can enter heaven.
 
To understand that everyone has innocence inside is very useful in reaching a person; in my work as a chaplain it helps me to see the good in them, to not identify with the appearance of the ‘old and crusty’, but the best part of them. Holding a person in this way helps them to feel safe and to be open (if at all possible). I look for what excites their enthusiasm. Enthusiasm means God within. And there are many folks who receive and give so beautifully. The filters are gone and the innocence there. A woman recently passed who is a marvelous example. She was Catholic and well educated, and had some levels of dementia and incontinence and other issues, but these are just circumstances. I talked to her about how god loves her, and sang her songs full of affection. among other things I sang her this song – https://stevesanchez.bandcamp.com/track/just-to-say-hey She received this with precious delight. It was like playing the strings of her open affections. Our time together was a celebration of God’s deep, playful and flowing love for us. I would say ‘He loves you’, and she would say, ‘He loves me, I know’; or Hallelujah and she would say it back with the light and excitement of a child. This is a wonderful use and unique experience of intimacy between two and God. We come from God and we return to God.

Trump’s Great Acquittal Speech: How His Center of Gravity Is Transforming the GOP, America, and the World

February 9th, 2020

Very inspiring watching Trump’s wonderful acquittal speech. He went off script and called it a celebration. You can see the ‘gravity’ of his presence in the room. Everyone around him respects him, and are getting stronger in their own right, and they see he is the center of the gravity – he is the leader, the heart and soul. It is his genius that initiated the movement and makes it work. In the room there are a lot of very smart, ambitious men and women for their own careers, but they are coming together in a way we have never seen the GOP do. Most of the leaders, probably hundreds of them now, would run through a brick wall for Trump! He masterfully cultivates this loyalty for the good of all because he knows a unity of talented people is very powerful. Trump just went through a series of intense attacks from the left for three years. He was the center of the attack, and he stood up to the injustice, and has surprised and inspired everyone. The full fury of the deep states irrational hatred is focused on taking him down. Trump described the dems in a very interesting way. He said, ‘all you people here are geniuses but the dems are geniuses too. They stick together like glue. They took a completely false accusation and rode it all the way to the brink of impeachment. They are good at what they do. They are totally crazy and wrong but good at it” (my paraphrase). This way of saying it inspires intense desire to fight, and to win.
In his speech Trump also focuses on commending several leaders, one by one, for being great warriors. He described how they fought for him ‘as if it their lives were at stake’ (trump’s words); and how they also had to take a lot of heat. Trump didn’t want it to be this way, he said it wasn’t what he signed up for, especially for his family, but week after week he stood up to it and kept winning. He did it for all the right reasons – God, country and neighbor, and I think the people in that room learned a whole new level about doing their job for the right reason. They all went through a crucible experience together that created a deep love and bond, like people who have been in military battles together. The stakes were super high.
At one point in his speech Trump gives high praise to his legal team and tells a little story. He tells how his lawyers told him, ‘We are in the right here and the law is all in our favor’, and Trump said to them, ‘It doesn’t matter, I know I did nothing wrong, but they are going to use every trick in the book to win’. Pelosi, shitty and their crew are like terrorists, except intellectual terrorists. They don’t have a conscience like us, they will lie, twist and deceive to any end they can get away with in order to win. It’s a terrible double standard, but for our own integrity it is important conservatives do not stoop to the the ways of the dem leaders.
The effect of all this is, I believe, that the GOP has been purged of a great amount of corruption. God works to not let evil go unseen for then it cannot be removed. The experience of seeing and fighting all this lying and cheating makes one loath it, and not want to be like it; I think it has formed a conviction in the kind of leaders many in the GOP want to be. Not only are they inspired by Trump’s example of being an honest, transparent fighter for the people, but the left has shown they will attack and investigate for the slightest reason, or no reason. Trump ‘joked’: ‘I have to watch out I don’t jay-walk or they will try to impeach’. This effect is by no good intent of the left, but it is the reality. The left also, who feel very entitled to corruption, will think twice now before gettin caught lining their pockets. They will have to cut back, because their methods and pattern of corruption has been greatly exposed by GOP fighters.
As Trump said in his speech the left’s intention was to inflict pain on people to get their way. All this makes me think of God’s providence at work. God uses the evil as much or more as he uses the good to effect change. The pain the left inflicted cuts deep and causes an abhorrence of evil and a determination to fight it and not be that way. Only God can orchestrate all this. He guides us to see and do what we can not do and see on our own. He does so for the sake of our repentance, and so we learn in our stubborn heart to put him first. I think it’s true that someone like Trump has the foresight to give evil enough rope to hang themselves, but nothing like what God does. We learn from the inspiration of having a great economy and a new vision of God in America, and from the abhorrence of seeing the sickening level of corruption that is among us.
With God hope springs eternal (even for California). Trump’s ability to get results and articulate a vision full of hope is magnificent. As he says, we just might have to endure more winning that we can stand.

Here is the speech – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j-4mZbhnrms&fbclid=IwAR2uqfmLBEXAz_QA5oXRtaAkRIJt-7YwXaFKalW2eg6icUxQOEZ0GQknZ5A