What Happens When We Enter the Spiritual World and the Process By Which the Lord Determines Our Salvation

March 15th, 2022

Someone asked – “Is there anything like purgatory? Where do souls go after death to wait for judgement. Or do they go to Heaven/Hell and come out on the day of judgement?”

Between heaven and hell there is the World of spirits, that is a place of preparation for heaven or hell where people who die are for a period of time. Revelation reads:
“He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still. And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last”. (Revelation, 22:1-13)

The lines about the unjust remaining unjust and the holy remaining holy, refer to profound principles of the spiritual world. The love in one’s heart and the beliefs we live by form the end state of our soul when we die. What this love is when we die, it will continue to be in the spiritual world. The form of our soul is determined by the concordance between our external self and internal self during our life on earth. The greater the harmony between the two, the more sincere, genuine, and loving we have been in life. For instance, a person whose face and manner reflects what is in their mind and soul is in harmony. As the Bible says of Philip, “He was a man without guile.” A deceptive internal self hides behind the external self and, if this is from hate and ill-will, the soul takes on a hellish form. Once in the spiritual world, the pattern of this concordance can no longer change. This is because in life there is constant striving (or lack of striving) for union between the natural and spiritual of every person. To the degree this union is formed during life the constellation if formed. But after death the natural/material is no more and the formation stops, and the constellation formed, then, doesn’t change, This is what is meant by the phrase in the Bible, “In the place where the tree falleth, there it shall be” (Ecclesiatstes 11:3).

This does not mean a person’s state doesn’t change in the spiritual world, but it can only change based on the form of the concordance. The concordance is based on the internal bond we made with the good of God, so in heavenly light we grow and flourish to the degree the pattern of the concordance is receptive to it; and this pattern is unique with everyone. The pattern of concordance that forms our soul is like a seed that grows in the light of heaven if it is good; if it is bad it shrivels and rejects the light of heaven. The reason the form of the concordance can only change while we are in the world is that life in the world is part material and part spiritual, and change in form is birthed from the marriage of the material and the spiritual. The mind is part material and part spiritual also, so, by doing and thinking, by believing and loving, we manifest the form of our soul.

Jesus doesn’t ‘throw’ anyone into hell. People do it to themself, by what they choose to love. In the spiritual world before anyone enters heaven or hell they go through a rigorous process called vastation (cleansing) which may be mild or very intense. (This takes place in the ‘world of spirits’ which is between heaven and hell.) The purpose of vastation is ultimately to remove everything in a person that is not in harmony with their ruling love. If they have a constellation which is ultimately capable for heaven than extraneous evils are removed from them, and visa versa. In this process the angels do everything possible, from love, to prepare the person for heaven. But the loves one has formed in their soul – freely chosen and bonded with – are the baseline of our being. We can’t just say we want something – like we want to go to heaven and do it – unless our loves are in harmony with it. There is no fooling God and the angels. God judges truly and knows us better than we know ourself.

The deeper the conception and love we have for the Lord while here on earth the more wonders and truths will be open to us in heaven. We need to have these memories in our mind, and more importantly the loves of life bonded in our soul. Our mind and soul are profoundly connected to heaven, but we must form the bond here for God to ‘prepare the place for us in heaven’. He can only build the mansions in heaven for us according to the loves and beliefs we formed here. All of this is the particulars of how we are in the image of God. Being in the image of God doesn’t just mean shape, it means all the processes in the whole human form correspond between us humans and the Lord. This goes along with the universal principle that the natural world is the foundation of the spiritual world, and for anything to exist it has to have a root in each. The human form is a little heaven in potential, and since the whole of heaven is in the human form, all things are connected by correspondence between the micro and the macro; – including access to ‘places’ – which in the spiritual world means ‘state of being’.

To the degree we understand and love the particulars of how Jesus redeemed all of humanity, (and redeemed you), seeds are planted in our mind and soul. In the spiritual world these seeds of perception are set – their constellation can no longer change – but, to whatever extent they reached into heaven – they will grow forever. The more intimate the love we developed of the Lord the more expansive are the roots, stem, and shoots that grow from the constellation. In the light of heaven, it gradually blooms into a great tree with leaves, fruits, and flowers – far beyond what we could ever imagine. We leave our former life behind, and move forward into ever-increasing joy. These seeds are avenues that lead down expansive paths of joyous wonder ever deeper and deeper. Great mysteries are opened that lead to greater and greater mysteries!

THE MANIFESTATION OF THE HOLY SPIRIT IN THE NEW TESTAMENT AND A MEDITATION ON THE HOLY SPIRIT IN OUR LIVES NOW

March 14th, 2022

 

“I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire”. – Matthew 3:11

“And the angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God”. – Luke 1:35

    The Holy spirit is the presence of Jesus; it is one with Jesus not separate. It has always been so, but the holy spirit’s  influence and presence became exponentially brighter when God was born on earth, and then especially in the resurrection. This is extremely valuable for our heart of faith to contemplate.
     Before being born on earth God is known as Jehovah. The holy spirit in its essence is the divine truth, especially the power of divine truth. There is no greater power in the universe than the power of divine truth from the Lord. It possesses all innocence and goodness and arising from this is complete, comprehensive and immutable power of truth that all things and all powers have no ability but to bow to. It occupies the core from goodness and so nothing is above it, or can overcome it. What ever come from the Lord’s will is divine truth and will come true in time. This is why all prophecy from the Old Testament came true no matter how long it took. Prophecy is divine because the will of God, and therefore it all came true in the New Testament. This scripture speaks to this power:


    “A branch will come out of the trunk of Jesse. The spirit of Jehovah will rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and intelligence, the spirit of counsel and strength. He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the spirit of his lips he will kill the ungodly. Justice will be his loincloth, and the truth will wrap his thighs. (Isaiah 11:1, 2, 4, 5)

 

     For the good people seeking to be regenerated the Holy spirit is the comforter. It brings justice, reconciliation, knowledge and love to the poor in spirit. To the evil it also brings justice, but devastation, exposure and to be put in their place – for they hate God and His people; they think they should be in power and not God. In the scripture we see relatively small but telling examples of this power. When the people want to stone the adulterous woman, Jesus says, “Let he who is without sin throw the first stone.” This stuns their conscience with the truth, and they are unable to act. When Jesus announces himself as the Messiah with the words, “Today these scriptures are fulfilled”, the people want to stone him and throw him off a cliff, but Jesus passes through them unharmed. When Jesus is arrested the soldiers want take hold of him, but Jesus flexes His power and they all fall to the ground around him.
These are a few examples, but there are many.

     In the gospels we see how He has complete power over demons who possess others. In the big picture Jesus was been born to defeat all the powers of evil that had overrun the earth, much of the world spirits, and even the lower parts of heaven. The scripture tells that ‘violence is done even to heaven’. We can take comfort and assurance in the fact that Jesus has all power. When we love and believe in Him he takes us under His wing ‘like a mother hen’. We come under his power and protection when we acknowledge and love him in heart. This causes His presence (holy spirit) to be with us. This is the efficacy of prayer.

     It is also very important to understand that even though Jesus has omnipotent power He leaves us in freedom, for Man can only be transformed in freedom. Jesus obeyed His own laws of divine order. In His life on earth He worked within the laws of freedom to transform man. In the garden when He is arrested Peter takes his sward and fights the soldiers and Jesus tells him to stop, saying, “don’t you know I could bring down legions of angels to defeat my enemies?”. But He does not. He could do this anytime He wanted but He knows the transformation in Man’s soul must take place reciprocally, that is, in freedom, from Man’s own will to meet Him.
      Now is it very important to see how the Holy spirit (the presence of Jesus) came into its full manifestation when Jesus was born on earth and resurrected. Jesus is ‘the bridge’ because He entered the natural world, and by doing this made Himself known to Man and renewed everything.
       “[The Comforter] will glorify me because he will take from what is mine and will make it known to you. Everything the Father has is mine. This is why I said that [the Comforter] will take from what is mine and will make it known to you”. (John 16:14, 15) In mentioning the Comforter and the Holy Spirit, the Lord was referring to himself. This is clear from these words of his: “The world would not recognize him but you know him; I will not leave you orphans, I am coming to you; you will see me.” And elsewhere, “Behold I am with you every day, even to the close of the age” (Matthew 28:20

      When the Lord told the disciples that it is expedient that I accomplish my mission and die on the cross for then I will send you the Holy spirit, He is describing this situation: Before He was born God was in the celestial and spiritual, but had never existed in the natural/physical level. By being born on earth He entered the physical and He made even the natural bend to His will by making His physical body divine. In doing this He brought the celestial, spiritual and physical into complete presence and wholeness. What is in its wholeness from the lowest natural to the highest is in its power. This caused exponentially greater light to the life of Man. By dying and resurrecting He entered the innermost of all things, and ‘drew all things unto himself’. This ‘exponentially greater light’ is the presence of the Holy Spirit, and the comforter. This is what is meant when Isaiah says, “The light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun;” and when John writes in Revelation, “The contenance of the son of man was as the sun shinning in his strength.” 
       Before the resurrection, there was an intermediate step to be connected to God and heaven by way of the representative church of the Jews in the Old Testament. After the resurrection, all people in all places at all times are in direct relationship with the Lord – if they so choose. This is expressed in the words of David, “In his days shall the righteous flourish, and the abundance of peace until there is no longer any moon.”
      

      In our spiritual life now, in this day, the Holy Spirit is the presence of Jesus, the fire that proceeds from God, and that kindles in our breasts a spiritual passion to know the Lord and for God’s will to prevail in this painful world. The Holy spirit ever urges us to seek union between our body and soul, to seek the marriage of our understanding and love, that together, creates a burning thirst in us that only He can satisfy. God is in His people. The Holy Spirit compels us to find the way to express, and manifest what God has given us to do.

      The Holy Spirit proposes a puzzle that we must work out in our hearts, and by our actions in the world; and to the degree we do we BOND with God – the only true glory afforded to humans (received as if by brushing the hem of His robe). The Holy Spirit simultaneously inspires in us the willingness to humbly submit to God’s will – and the strength to see through deception and fight evil. The Holy spirit first kindles an anxiety of unknown cause and purpose, but if we persevere through the fog of anxiety, and there are time when it clears, and the desire to be right with God leads us to understand and to inspire others. This cannot help but lead us to confront and expose the deceptions of those of ill-intent – and to do it with love – which sometime may requite and engender composure and fierce determination. The Holy Spirit moves us to honor the good deeds and sacrifices of others, and especially to honor the one who redeemed all humanity by His deeds and sacrifice. Honor is for men and woman, Worship is honor to God, something only He is worthy of.

THE MEANING OF THE VERSE – “No more shall an infant from there live but a few days, Nor an old man who has not fulfilled his days; For the child shall die one hundred years old”

February 21st, 2022
SOMEON ASKED – “What is the meaning of this verse, “No more shall an infant from there live but a few days, Nor an old man who has not fulfilled his days; For the child shall die one hundred years old, But the sinner being one hundred years old shall be accursed’. – Isaiah 65: 20
 
This verse follows and is part of the description of the wonder and promise of the Holy city in the New Jerusalem. The verse before it says “I will rejoice in Jerusalem, And joy in My people; The voice of weeping shall no longer be heard in her, Nor the voice of crying”.
The verse at the top is describing the process of getting there. ‘A hundred years old’ means a complete state of union. In Matthew – “Everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or fields, for My name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold and will be allotted the inheritance of eternal life” – Matt. 19:29. Here ‘a hundredfold’ stands for that which is complete, otherwise described as ‘good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over’, in Luke 6:38. Also In Luke, “Some seed fell on good ground, and when it had grown up it brought forth fruit a hundredfold”. – Luke 8:8
These scriptures also show that becoming complete is a process. Before even being regenerated a person must be prepared. The innocence of childhood is essential in this; but the innocence of childhood is an external innocence until it is incorporated into the soul by ones own intelligence and will. This is in preparation for one becoming willing to be led by the Lord. A person can only be regenerated when they come of age (or later), for not until then is he or she able to exercise reason and judgement, and by so doing to receive a principled soul of goods and truths from the Lord.
Before entering that state he or she is being prepared by experiences that serve as ‘the soil’ for receiving the seeds of truth and good. A person is not aware of how the Lord is providentially preparing them, but they are responding intuitively to His prompting. This takes place during learning to work, education, making a living, having a responsibility or any number of paths in life. Through these things the Lord providentially guides us so that our states of innocence can be combined with our intelligence. This builds thoughts and feelings that make one receptive to God. Often this involves periods of deep grief or loss that ‘soften the soil’ of the soul.
This implantation occurs for many years before regeneration takes place. When a person has been endowed with these things and so has been prepared, his state is now said to be complete, for the things that are interior have been arranged. Remains bonded in the soul allow a person to receive and be regenerated by the Lord.
In heaven this scripture has another related meaning. All children who die young to heaven and are taught there by angels. Because they have not yet formed their own conscience they are all capable of being taught the good and truths of heaven by wise angels. Everyone born has hereditary evil so this is a process also. Children and those with innocence will increase in joy and wisdom for eternity. Old men and women there do not remain old but gradually return to the bloom of youth because the innocence in their soul is continually increasing and bonding with their wisdom. Innocent children are not angles but in time become angels and grow in love and wisdom forever.
The scripture above also describes ‘the accursed’, which are those who refuse to undergo this process and so go in the opposite direction. Those who willfully reject Him, and come to love to harm, hate and destroy are kept separate from heaven in hell. They are governed by the Lord there to not sink into a deeper and worse state.
The Lord provides peace to the heavenly and there is no longer weeping from the fear of the evil, their ‘tears are wiped away’, as they move ever more into new internal skills and gifts in their heavenly life. The Lord by His might brings light and justice to all.
Swedenborg adds are remarkable passage about the 100 years that shows how remains give us an idea of the Lord’s glorification process: “These things that are so with man may serve to illustrate what is meant by a complete state of the Human united to the Divine in the Lord. That is to say, they may illustrate the state when the Lord by His own power – through the conflicts brought about by temptations and through victories, and through the powers of Divine wisdom and intelligence – gathered to Himself within the Human, that is, within the Rational, so much of the Divine that He was able to unite the Divine itself to the Divine acquired within the Rational. And it was to represent this state that, even though Abraham had spent many years in the land of Canaan, Isaac was not born to him until he was a hundred years old. These are the arcana contained within the number ‘a hundred years’, which was Abraham’s age”. – AC 2636

Easter Message: All Lines of Meaning Lead to the Resurrection

November 4th, 2021

All lines of meaning lead to the moment of the resurrection. The resurrection bursts like a sun on the timeline of history. It is a universal principle that the moment of union is a transcendent pinnacle of light, passion and perception. The resurrection is the ultimate union and birthing that will ever be. This is where our eyes can look and have the greatest perception and love. The resurrection is a fountain from which love and wisdom spring in their fullness and return in our love and perception.


In the moment of the resurrection the substance and order of the universe was forever imprinted and changed by Christ’s ultimate act of love, a height of love that had never existed before. He so purified his human body of all evil during the course of his life until the last temptation that His human body merged with His divine soul (God). At His death and resurrection the earth quaked – meaning that there was a profound change of state in the natural and spiritual state of the universe. His human body became divine and entered heaven in the spiritual sun. In the process of His life on earth He ‘drew everything unto him’ each in its own way. He drew everything with Him because he entered the innermost, and he who enters the innermost from love governs all directly. In resurrecting His human body into heaven He defied the laws of physics and the only way to do that is to become divine order which He did by becoming the innermost of all things.


He is the only one to ever do this and the only one who ever will. That He ‘drew all things to him’ and entered the innermost is not a poetic metaphor, but refers to the actual structure of the universe. This can be seen by Jesus’ mighty act of overcoming the terrible darkness on the earth at the end of the Old testament, by His subjugating of the forces of hell, by building an enormous chasm between heaven and hell, and by putting all heaven back into divine order. These are structural changes in the spiritual world that have effect in the natural world for the natural world is the foundation of the spiritual world and the two must always correspond.


This resurrection bursts forth like a sun on the timeline of history! As the Bible says in many places, before the resurrection earth was under the reflected light of the moon, but after it was in the direct light of the sun. After, He became the alpha and omega, which means this: For the first time God entered the material level of the world, whereas before He existed in the spiritual and the celestial levels and governed the natural through the mediate action of angels. By making His human divine He incorporated the natural into ‘the whole’ and from this union light burned exponentially brighter; now the Word was available to man by direct influx, not by representation as it was before. Another way of seeing this spiritual thought is this: the eternal is not linear, the eternal is the presence of God. He is outside time and space, present to all time (past, present and future) and all space and places. He is the center of spiritual gravity. By becoming a human on earth and then bringing his human into oneness with God, Jesus removed obstructions between heaven and earth and lifted up everything. He paved the way in the soul and psyche of man to be able, in potential, to receive heaven in its fullness. I say potential because we must turn to Him and meet Him from our own will to forge the bond.


This is why Christ is the Perfect Man, the Redeemer, the Father, Friend, the Hero of heroes, and we are all inside His body. He is the macro, the Grand Man, and He is in the most internal part of each of us. All lines of meaning lead to Him because of His redeeming acts paved the way for each of us to be redeemed. All the psychological and spiritual processes, the processes of regeneration transformation were re-established by Jesus during his process of Glorification on earth. All meaning has been performed and embodied by Him for our sake.


This conception is very different than thinking of a ‘futuristic future’ that will save us, that there is something ‘out there, someday’, instead of knowing Him from within. In time all knees bend to him whether we cooperate or not. For those who fight against his love put themselves in a dark place for eternity. Those who live a good life and acknowledge Him as God are in happiness and ever increasing joy. Either way, all humans in the beginning and in the end are defined by their attitude toward the One Lord.


In the cross we have the perfect symbol. The horizontal arm is the progression along a linear timeline and that reaches to all the events and variety of history and life; the vertical arm reaches from our internal self to heaven and the lord and brings all meaning and transformation.
This is also why – even in the natural world – time and history are measured from B.C. and A.D.

The Perfectly Just and Generous Nature Of the Lord’s Salvation Applies to All Humanity by The Principle of Union

November 4th, 2021


I believe our state after dying is determined by the quality of love in our soul, especially toward God. And there are three basic practices from our life that effect this, and that are also the basis of Christianity: 1; To acknowledge God in our hearts, 2; To be useful in life and act with care toward our neighbor, and 3; rule one and two must grow together. Neither one is substantial without the other. The marriage of rule one and two is the heavenly pattern, because this is the union of love and wisdom in our soul. The degree to which we have created concordance between them determines our state. In scripture this is expressed this way. “As the tree falleth so it layeth”. The exercise of the two together in everyday life is the expression of spiritual, emotional, and psychological intelligence. Swedenborg writes:


“The chief thing is to acknowledge the Lord, His Divine in the Human, and His Omnipotence in saving the human race…The Lord taught how they would be saved, namely, that they should receive Divine truth from Him; and this is received, when it is applied to, and implanted in, the life by doing it; therefore the Lord so often said, that they should do His words. From these considerations it is evident that these two things, namely, to believe in the Lord and to do His words, make one, and that they can by no means be separated; for he who does not the Lord’s words does not believe in Him” (AE 328).


Here is an organic way to visualize how rule 1 and 2 are inextricably married in use: the branches and leaves of a tree cannot survive if the tree does not have roots in the ground; and conversely, the roots will not long survive if there are no branches and leaves. The relationship between the branches and the roots corresponds to the relationship between love and wisdom, or, the internal and the external of our self. Another example is the symbiosis of how the heart and lungs work together in the human body to keep us alive. The heart corresponds to love, and the lungs to wisdom.


There is no such thing as being neutral to God. If we are not actively accepting Him, then we are busy avoiding him. This is an intense truth we think we can get away from, and we can try for a time, but ultimately we cannot. The Lord said if you are not for me you are against me – there is no in between. Non-acknowledgement (or avoidance) is an action just as much as acknowledgement is an action. These actions are the minute binary of our life, each one gradually accumulating and leading toward heaven or hell. Only God can truly judge that state of this in others, but we can tell to a degree in our own self examination.

Being able to acknowledge that all good comes from God, in spite of appearances, is the acid test of spirituality. Self examination can help to humble and soften our heart so we can receive from God. Humility and innocence are essential to receive God. God can work in us through innocence because this allows the willingness to be led or to submit to good, as opposed to pride. Innocence blooms into maturity when it is combined with intelligence, and becomes wisdom. Innocence is the elixir that opens what is written in our souls from God! In Heaven and Hell Swedenborg expresses with great clarity and tenderness how innocence fosters the internal marriage of love and wisdom in life:


“In the Word by “little children” is meant those who are innocent. Good is good so far as it has innocence in it, for the reason that all good is from the Lord, and innocence is a willingness to be led by the Lord. I have also been told that truth can be conjoined to good, and good to truth only by means of innocence. Hence the conjunction of truth and good is called the heavenly marriage, and the heavenly marriage is heaven. Again, I have been told that love truly conjugial derives its existence from innocence, because it derives its existence from the conjunction of the good and truth in which are the two minds of husband and wife; for married partners are in mutual love, as their minds are. This is why in conjugial love there is a playfulness like that of childhood and innocence” (HH 281).


Innocence longs to serve others more than oneself, and this impulse is the foundation of true strength, peace and wisdom. Innocence also tempers the ever-present inclinations toward evil in us. Swedenborg writes:


“Humiliation is the essential of all adoration and of all worship, for without humiliation the Lord cannot be worshiped and adored, for the reason that the Divine of the Lord cannot flow into a proud heart, that is, into a heart full of the love of self, for such a heart is hard; and is called in the Word a “heart of stone.” But the Divine of the Lord can flow into a humble heart, because this is soft, and is called in the Word a “heart of flesh” (AC 9377).


Hand in hand with acknowledging the divinity of the Lord is the need to perceive and acknowledge that from our self we are full of inclinations toward evil, and without the Lord we are lost in evil. Most of us have unknown levels of intellectual, spiritual, or egotistic pride that blocks us from seeing this. While we are occupied with inclinations to evil, it is impossible to receive good. To temper and remove the evil inclinations we need to see them, expose them, and realize we need the Lord’s help, and then act on what we have realized so that the bond with good can take hold.
From this I hope we can see that the acknowledgement of the Lord and doing good uses cannot be separated:


“The very essential of the church is the acknowledgment of the union of the Divine Itself in the Lord’s Human, and that this must be in each and all things of worship, thus also acknowledgment, for thought without acknowledgment and faith is not spiritual thought. The reason why this is an essential of the church, and consequently an essential of its worship, is that the salvation of the human race depends solely upon this union. Moreover the Lord came into the world for the sake of affecting this union. Therefore also in its inmost sense the whole Word treats of this, and the rituals of the church instituted among the sons of Israel represented it and signified it” (AC 10370).


This principle is everywhere in the Word because it is everywhere in life. Swedenborg writes: “The prudent virgins signify those in the church with whom faith is conjoined to charity, and the foolish signify those in the church with whom faith is separated from charity” (AE 840). The parable of the talents is all about this principle also. Talents represent spiritual intelligence, and spiritual intelligence is the result of the effort to marry rule 1 and 2 in our life. The primary theme of the whole Cane and Abel story in the internal sense is to show that faith and charity cannot be separated and when they are it is destructive.


Now it is wonderful to see how in the principle of union the Lord is entirely just and merciful, because it is up to each person to meet God half-way, to do the work of meeting the responsibilities that come with freedom and faith. We are masters of our own salvation no matter what our situation in life by the choices we make whether one knows of Christianity or not. Swedenborg writes: “It should be known that all who have not separated faith from love, when instructed in the other life, receive the heavenly idea of the Lord, that he is God of the universe. It is otherwise however with those who have separated faith from life”. So it is the pattern of union that determines salvation whether we are Christian or not. This makes us spiritual and able to learn of the Lord once in heaven. So even if a person in their life acted falsely or believed falsely because of the way we were brought up, but acted in good faith toward this falsity, then they can still be saved. Or if a person knows nothing of the Lord because of where they live, as long as they acknowledged God in some way and sought to live a life of good use, they are in the form of heaven. Thus the Lord is entirely just, because it is our own effort to effect union in our soul, however we may believe, that saves.

 

 

A Walk in the Garden Paradise that is the Lord’s: I Perceive It’s Wonders

January 18th, 2021

This paradise exceeds in beauty anything I have imagined; the translucent tips of the leaves of the trees, the blades of grass, the nutrients in the soil are more real than in the natural world. It’s as if there is an unseen vine from the Lord that also extends to my mind and soul. Yes, He is the vine and the vinedresser in this paradise.

I see Infants playing on a carpet of cloves by a river, each full of such innocent beauty and joy I am filled with delight to see them and wish to know them. As the infants pass by flowers in a grove the flowers blossom a-fresh, as do all the plants. The infants are learning from everything in the garden, grove and the river.
The path continues on through vineyards, woods, and meadows adorned with flowers; my mind perceives that passages from the Word are inherent in all of these scenes. Indeed the Word of the Lord is here. The Word itself is like a garden, a celestial paradise. The garden and the Word contain delicacies and delights of every kind; the delicacies are by virtue of such particulars as the flowers and their petals, and the trees and their leaves and their fruits. Further out and round about the garden are forests, and the river runs through them. The river originates from beautiful springs and fountains. Along the bank of the river is a soft carpet of brilliant green grasses; the grass is brilliant green from the sun caressing them with its rays. I have a capacity and skill in my soul to understand them and receive life from them and they me as I experience each one.

Oh, may the glories of the Word and this paradise be to each of us, and to this world, a fountain of Wisdom from which we can draw as the angels do, (1 Peter 1:12); Oh, that the fountain of the Lord will meet us and give us the water that springs up into everlasting life (John iv. 14). Let us walk the paths through garden and fields. May we sit in its arbors and view the magnificent mountains, full of the prospects of being whole and filled with glad reception; may we be filled with the prospect of a better world which may console us for the present turmoils, may this perception give us strength to overcome the dust and the struggles of the earthly world.

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.

Meditation on a Candle, Meditation on Christ

January 6th, 2021

       A candle symbolizes Christ, specifically his self-giving love and the gifts of life we receive from Him. The candle provides light and warmth as it consumes its own substance, the wax. The wax and wick work in symbiosis, in other words, form a union that sustains a flame when lit. They work in symbiosis, (though in a simpler way), like the heart and lungs work together in inion to sustain every cell of the body with nutrients. The wax and wick work in union to sustain a flame. In its own small way the candle is a reflection of the sun. In the sun there is a union between gravity and nuclear fusion for these cause the form of the sun. Nuclear fusion is ignited in the core of the sun by the immense pressure of gravity caused by the immense mass of the sun. In turn nuclear fusion expands against the gravity while consuming the mass of the sun and creates light and heat.

       So too, Jesus gives of his own substance – He merged his body and soul into perfect union and thus glorified His body so that light was exponentially more available to man. And this light is the source of never ending in-filling love. He ‘drew all things unto himself’. And, when we are regenerated, and thus have light in ourselves, we give light to each other.

    In the candle the wick, usually braided cotton, burns and produces a flame. When the wick is lit a chain of events begins. Wax, which is present on and near the wick, begins to melt. At that point, the wick absorbs the liquid wax (which has just melted) and pulls it upwards (due to capillary action). The heat of the flame vaporizes the fuel (molten wax), which in turn combines with oxygen in the air (combustion) to produce a constant flame.

     A candle uses heat to produce light. In order to do that, it makes use of a process called combustion, which is basically the burning of a substance in the presence of oxygen, and produces heat and light. Here, the fuel is wax, which is composed of complex carbon compounds. Wax burns in the presence of oxygen to produce carbon dioxide gas, which is colorless. The smoke that you see is because wax never burns in a completely clean way.

     This process in a candle is a simple example of a universal principle. The pulling-in and wicking-up, or capillary action, of the wax as fuel is an example of the universal principle that everything has its beginning from outermost parts, and these outer parts provide for and moves toward the essential inner action; meaning, in all brith and manifestation,  the external parts are first made and the internal parts are made from it. For instance, in the embryo in the womb the beginning of the arterial system is in the skin, not the heart. This may seem surprising, but it is illustrated by the similar and well-known fact that the beginnings of the woody fibres of trees are in the leaves, not the stem or the roots. Through the pith and the delicate fibres of the bark, nourishment ascends to the first tender leaves, and from these descends the first woody fibres that provide the build-up between the bark and the pith, (the leaves also provide the fibres that build the roots. Through these woody and cortical fibres sap afterwards ascends to the leaves, and new buds and leaves are formed, which in turn send down other fibres, and thus the trunk of the tree grows in concentric layers of wood – every fibre of which has descended from the leaves. In a similar way, the materials and strands of the nervous system, the beginnings of blood vessels, and the tissues of the organs are produced in the skin, and are sustained and reproduced from tissues of the skin. The process of membranes being produced in the ‘ultimates of the body, and especially from the skin’ comes from a universal principle that operates throughout life.

     A similar process took place in Jesus, though of much larger scope. The process that took place in Christ is the universal master-key for all processes. It humbles us to contemplate the magnitude of what Jesus did, but things like the candle help us to see it.  It is ultimately incomprehensible to understand Jesus’s process because he is infinite and we are finite – but that is no reason not to seek – it just means there is no end to what we can seek, and come to understand. The whole reason He was born here was to make himself accessible and known, so that He could redeem and regenerate our soul. 

      Jesus in His life on earth, day by day, moment by moment, ‘consumed’ the hereditary evil in His body. His hereditary evil was in the body only, which is of the external part of the self. His internal was divine because from the Father and thus contained no evil, but divine good and truth. Because He was born on earth, Like all humans, He had hereditary evil from His mother who was human. By ‘consumed the hereditary evil’, I mean He removed the evil out of Himself by overcoming each and every temptation that confronted Him, or that tried to seduce Him. He could be drawn in to temptation because He had hereditary evil in His body, but by addressing and overcoming each and every one – even to the last on the cross – He made his human body divine! In this process He carried the whole of humanity with Him in an internal way. Humanity had lost its connection to God by becoming almost completely external in its religion and so spiritually had atrophied. People don’t understand that this was a very real disconnect in the psyche and soul of man, a disconnect of the avenues that can bond us to heaven and God. Jesus rebuilt these avenues of connection in the psyche of mankind by doing it in himself in a body, on earth, among us; by loving all humanity, by teaching people, and by establishing the new church.

     Just as the union of the wax and wick sustain a flame that can light a room, the union of Jesus body and soul produces light and heat that sustains the whole of the universe and all mankind. Light and heat  produced from a candle brings light and warmth to people in a room. In Jesus, from the Holy marriage of His divine body and soul proceeds, as from a fountain, the Holy fire that created and sustains all of life. Unlike a candle, or anything else that exists, God is uncreated. Like a candle Jesus was born on the material earth – the divine one had to overcome the inertia of this world, and He did. Jesus made His body divine in the resurrection – and took it up into heaven. Jesus is in the midst of the spiritual sun above heaven from which proceeds wisdom (light) and love (heat), and these are life, the very spiritual substance of all life, and that perpetually sustains life. 

 

 

 

 

 

How and Why What Happens In This Life is of Total Consequence to the Afterlife: The Internal Meaning of ‘He that is unjust, let him be unjust still, and he that is holy, let him be holy still’ (Revelation)

December 25th, 2020


“And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand. He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still. And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last”. (Revelation, 22:1-13)
The lines about the unjust remaining unjust and the holy remaining holy, refer to profound principles of the spiritual world. The love in one’s heart and the beliefs we live by form the end state of our soul when we die. What this love is when we die, it will continue to be in the spiritual world. The form of our soul is determined by the concordance between our external self and internal self during our life on earth. The greater the harmony between the two, the more sincere, genuine, and loving we have been in life. For instance, a person whose face and manner reflects what is in their mind and soul is in harmony. As the Bible says of Philip, “He was a man without guile.” A deceptive internal self hides behind the external self and, if this is from hate and ill-will, the soul takes on a hellish form. Once in the spiritual world, the pattern of this concordance can no longer change. This is because in life there is constant striving (or lack of striving) for union between the natural and spiritual of every person. To the degree this union is formed during life the constellation if formed. But after death the natural/material is no more and the formation stops, and the constellation formed, then, doesn’t change, This is what is meant by the phrase in the Bible, “In the place where the tree falleth, there it shall be” (Ecclesiatstes 11:3).
This does not mean a person’s state cannot change in the spiritual world, but it can only change based on the form of the concordance. The concordance is based on the internal bond we made with the good of God, so in heavenly light we grow and flourish to the degree the pattern of the concordance is receptive to it; and this pattern is unique with everyone. The pattern of concordance that forms our soul is like a seed that grows in the light of heaven if it is good; if it is bad it shrivels and rejects the light of heaven. The reason the form of the concordance can only change while we are in the world is that life in the world is part material and part spiritual, and change in form is birthed from the marriage of the material and the spiritual. The mind is part material and part spiritual also, so, by doing and thinking, by believing and loving, we manifest the form of our soul.
This is a deep intricacy of the Word, but it is significant to understand. The dynamics of the constellation seems to be illusive for people to understand. One of the biggest implications of it is that once in hell it is almost impossible to leave. A Lot of people think it is not compassionate to think this, but people who think this are isolating compassion; true compassion is always in union with wisdom. The Lord knows what He is doing, and is always does what is just. We have to trust Him. He has infinite wisdom, and we finite wisdom; and in submitting to Him and seeking Him we receive wisdom and strength.
Jesus doesn’t ‘throw’ anyone into hell. People do it to themself, by what they choose to love. In the spiritual world before anyone enters heaven or hell they go through a rigorous process called vastation (cleansing) which may be mild or very intense. (This takes place in the ‘world of spirits’ which is between heaven and hell.) The purpose of vastation is ultimately to remove everything in a person that is not in harmony with their ruling love. If they have a constellation which is ultimately capable for heaven than extraneous evils are removed from them, and visa versa. In this process the angels do everything possible, from love, to prepare the person for heaven. But the loves one has formed in their soul – freely chosen and bonded with – are the baseline of our being. We can’t just say we want something – like we want to go to heaven and do it – unless our loves are in harmony with it. There is no fooling God and the angels. God judges truly and knows us better than we know ourself.

These principles are not to be used to be self-righteous (or for merely intellectual purposes), but to inspire us to submit to God, to live a good life, to express compassion – Now. When we submit to God we are then infilled with love – we are infilled to the degree we submit. This is why humility is the source of strength, why love elevates perception – why the meek shall inherit the earth. God is always striving to bring love and wisdom into union, it’s a process, a deeply fulfilling process of inner skill.

To the degree we entertain evil we cannot receive the good of God. Evil knows, and is perpetually scheming, to separate love from wisdom. For this renders both false. This is why some, especially the left in todays world are acting so insane. They operate on blanket compassion, which is false compassion because it has separated itself from wisdom. Without the light of wisdom blanket compassion is all emotion, and one then just uses emotion to justify their agenda, which is backwards.

False compassion if persisted in always turns into rage and possibly violence. The reason is that one who does this is operating on half the equation of life, but it is innate to our soul and being to be whole which is to operate on love and wisdom in union. This is expressed in the Bible in the phrase, ‘be harmless as dove (compassion) and wise as a serpent’. So, in operating on half the equation of life a person has to expend a lot of energy denying the other half. This takes a person further and further from true self. The only way to maintain this imbalance it to keep going deeper and deeper and deeper into denial. This is why the left continually keeps going to further extremes. Everyone in hell is in chronic deep denial, and their life is about emotional justifications and artful deceptions, which become insane fantasies. They become their evil loves which is a completely inverted and insane life. For those in hell the presence of an angel causes them to burn with murderous rage and jealousy because they cannot stand to see what they have become, and they seek to abuse and destroy anyone who has good in them.

CHRISTMAS MEDITATION ON WHY JESUS WAS BORN AT THE DARKEST POINT IN HISTORY AND THE GREAT GOOD NEWS WE CAN CHERISH NOW AND FORVER

December 17th, 2020

 

This is a time that dredges up deep and dark feelings, and also a time of great joy.

Swedenborg, from ‘True Christian Religion’:

“At the time of the Lord’s first coming the hells had increased to such a height as to fill the whole world of spirits, which is intermediate between heaven and hell, and thus had not only thrown into disorder the heaven that is called the lowest, but also had attacked the middle heaven, which they infested in a thousand ways, and which would have gone to destruction if it had not been upheld by the Lord. Such an uprising of the hells is meant by the tower built in the land of Shinar, the head of which was to reach to heaven.

The hells had increased to such a height because at the time when the Lord came into the world the whole earth had completely alienated itself from God by idolatries and magic; and the church which had existed among the children of Israel and afterwards with the Jews, had been utterly destroyed by the falsification and adulteration of the Word. All these, both Jews and Gentiles, had after death streamed into the world of spirits, where at length their number was so increased and multiplied that they could be driven out only by a descent of God Himself and then only by the strength of His Divine arm. How this was done has been described in the little work on the Last Judgment (London, 1758). At the Lord’s first coming this increase of the hells was the work of idolaters, magicians, and falsifiers of the Word. This impending damnation Jehovah God removed by means of His Human, thus redeeming angels and men. From this it is clear that without the Lord’s coming no one could have been saved” (True Christian Religion, n. 121).


The incarnation of the Lord took place when the decline of religion, and the attendant expansion of darkness, had reached the point of crisis – humanity had approached the event horizon of a black hole – If the decline had been allowed to continue, all of humanity would have been consumed in evil, from which there could be no return. This decline took place simultaneously on Earth and in the spiritual world.

The basic story is known by the Christian world: The Lord was born on Earth to set all things into order. He is the Hero of Heroes, the redeemer and savior of all, not only then but now and in every moment of every day. He is life and we are receptacles of life from Him. He provides and gives us freedom as a means of salvation. If we are conscience it is inherent in us, from our whole being, to give thanks, to honor, to trust, and love Him sincerely and with humility. Because Jesus was born as a human in the natural world, and overcame all temptation put upon Him, subjugated all the forces of evil seeking to destroy humanity, and in doing so fulfilled all prophecy – He gained the power to never allow this to happen again! He is the innermost from the minutest material to the highest of the high (alpha and Omega). He promised he will keep good and evil in equilibrium on this earth, which is the basis of our freedom; and, that He will never allow the integrity of heaven to be compromised again. There is no salvation without freedom for this is the only way the bond with Him and each other can be forged. He knows all the pain and trials we go through in this life, and as we keep our trust in Him as best we can a bond is gradually formed that can’t be taken away.

This is the great good news – He is worthy to be trusted completely, and we can be saved. He wants us to seek Him and fight for Him in our hearts and life; He wants us, in time, to come Home to His kingdom more than anything, From the beginning He has prepared a place intended for you. He knows we have an innate need to trust, that we have a hard time, that we have fear, that we are faulted, but he knows us and loves us, and we can utterly trust in Him.


“The people who walked in darkness

have seen a great light;

those who lived in a land of deep darkness

on them light has shined.

You have multiplied the nation,

you have increased its joy;

they rejoice before you

as with joy at the harvest” (Isaiah 9:2-4)