Thursday, May 28, 2015

The Trinity of Love, Truth and Usefulness



There is a trinity of being in all that exists: in each person there is the will, the thought of the will, and then putting the thought into action.  In a more universal sense, this is a trinity of love, truth and usefulness. There is no love without truth, and there is no truth without its love, and the marriage or union between love and truth is in usefulness.  In philosophical terms, this is called end, cause and effect - one's end is one's intent or love, the cause of manifesting one's love is one's thought, and the effect is the action. One can apply this philosophy at work to encourage initiative using the "see, own, do" motto: to see is to see a problem, to own is to take responsibility for the problem, to do is to take action to resolve the problem. Described by yet another teaching called "Steps to Knowledge", this is seeing, thinking, and taking action.

What I just described was pulled in from very different sources of information, yet they are all saying the same thing, for truth is universal.  One of the sources is the revelations in the writings of Emanuel Swedenborg. If a teaching is not applicable in life, it is not true. If a theory cannot be put into practice, it must be rejected.  In one's spiritual life, there is no such thing as belief alone, and any belief that does not lead to good works must also be rejected.

As an example, this "trinity of being" can be seen in the plant world:
"The case is similar in the vegetable kingdom: in every tree and in every plant there lies inmostly concealed an effort to produce fruits or seeds; but this effort cannot manifest itself until it has first produced all the means, namely, branches, leaves, and flowers, which being produced, then the effort comes forth into act." (Heavenly Arcana, n. 3610.3)
The endeavor or effort is the end or intent, the means is the cause, and the effect is the act.

THE TRINITY OF END, CAUSE AND EFFECT


Most people know from science the idea of "cause and effect." This terminology is derived from the "four causes" of the Greek philosopher Aristotle.  But modern science has removed itself from one of the causes taught by Aristotle: the final cause, which is defined as "the end towards which is directs."  This end is the intent of the effect, and any intent implies motive or "intelligent design," which is anathema to materialistic science seeking pure naturalistic causes.  Swedenborg restores this teaching in the trinity of end, cause and effect:
"All things in general and in particular in man, nay, all things in general and in particular in nature, succeed one another as end, cause, and effect; and, when they thus correspond to one another, they act as one; for then the end is the all in all things of the cause, and through the cause is the all in all things of the effect. As for example, when heavenly love is the end, the will the cause, and action the effect, if there is correspondence, then heavenly love flows into the will, and the will into the action, and they so act as one that the action by correspondence is as it were the love; or as when the faith of charity is the end, thought the cause, and speech the effect, if there is correspondence, then faith from charity flows into the thought, and this into the speech, and they so act as one, that the speech by correspondence is as it were the end. In order however that the end, which is love and faith, may produce the cause, which is will and thought, it must take administering means in the rational mind that will correspond; for, without administering means that correspond, the end, which is love or faith, cannot be received, however it may flow in from the Lord through heaven. From this it is plain that the interiors and the exteriors of man, that is, what is rational, natural, and sensual in him, must be brought into correspondence, in order that he may receive the Divine influx, and consequently that he may be born again; and that it is not well with him till then." (Heavenly Arcana, n. 5131.3)
Many teachings only speak of enlightenment or knowledge alone: but truth alone does not lead to a balanced spiritual life of activity, or one of truth in action.  One must have intent, from the intent or purpose one has thought which is the means of executing the intent, and its action is the effect.  Every action or work is judged by the internal intent or purpose from which it was generated:
"Whatever his thoughts and deeds — which vary in ways innumerable — if only the end be made good, all are good. But if the end be evil, all are evil. It is the end that rules in every thing that a man thinks and does. The angels with man, because they are angels of the Lord, do not direct anything in the man but his ends. In directing them they direct also his thoughts and actions, for all these are of the end. The end with man is his very life. All that he thinks and does has life from the end, for, as was said, they are of the end. Therefore as the end is, such is the life of a man. His end is no other than his love; for a man can have for an end nothing but what he loves. One who thinks otherwise than he does, has yet for an end what he loves. In his very dissimulation or deceit is his end, which is the love of self or the love of the world; and from this is the enjoyment of his life. From these considerations any one may conclude that as a man's love is, such is his life." (Heavenly Arcana, n. 1317)

ONE'S PURPOSE OR INTENT DETERMINES ONE'S ETERNAL LIFE


By examining one's own primary intent or purpose in life, one can determine if one's eternal life is leading towards heaven or hell:
"The inflowing life is applied to no other object than the end, because to every one his end is his love, and it is the love alone that lives. Other objects are only derivations from this, which draw their life from the end. Every one may see what kind of life he has, if he will only search out what his end is; not what all his ends are — for he has numberless ones, as many as intentions, and almost as many as judgments and conclusions of thoughts, which are only intermediate ends, variously derived from the principal one, or tending to it — but let him search out the end he prefers to the rest, and in respect to which all others are as nothing. If he has for his end himself and the world, let him know that his life is infernal; but if he has for his end the good of his neighbor, the common good, the Lord's kingdom, and especially the Lord Himself, let him know that his life is heavenly." (Heavenly Arcana, n. 1909.2)
One's end, or one's purpose or intent is one's primary love:
"Man by the ends of his life is in the other life, by ends of good in heaven with angels, but by ends of evil in hell with devils. Ends in man are nothing but his loves, for what a man loves, that he has for an end; and inasmuch as ends are his loves, they are his inmost life" (Heavenly Arcana, n. 3570.3)
WHY IS THERE A TRINITY?


End, cause and effect are universal and exist in all things. It is even applicable to a company's organization (see above).  Not only that, but the universe is the image of God, and these three exist in God as the Trinity itself:
"These three, namely, end, cause, and effect, are in the created universe, in its greatest things as well as in its least. They are in the greatest and the least things of the created universe, because they are in God the Creator, Who is the Lord from eternity. But because He is Infinite, and in the Infinite infinite things are distinctly one (as was shown above, n. 17-22), therefore also these three in Him, and in the infinite things of Him, are distinctly one. From this it is that the universe — which was created from His Esse, and which, regarded as to uses is His image — acquired these three in each and everything in it." (Divine Love and Wisdom, n. 169) 
While the older churches have a tritheistic belief in God divided in distinct persons, this is not so in the New Church, which worships God as one Being.  Worship here is in being useful, or in usefulness.  One can say it is the spiritual and more complete version of the philosophy of Utilitarianism. For the Lord's kingdom is not of one resting on clouds, but rather it is a kingdom of uses, where all seek to be useful according to their love.

THE TRINITY OF LOVE, TRUTH AND USEFULNESS

The principle of end, cause and effect can be expressed in another way: as love, truth and usefulness:
"Every one who thinks in any enlightenment can see that love has for an end and intends use, and that it produces use through wisdom; for love cannot produce any use of itself, but by means of wisdom. What indeed is love, unless there be something that is loved? This something is use; and because use is that which is loved, and is produced by wisdom, it follows that use is the containant of wisdom and love." (Divine Love and Wisdom, n. 297)
WHAT IS SPIRITUAL FREEDOM?


When most people think about freedom, its about doing whatever they want, what they love the most.  However this is not true freedom.  There is only spiritual freedom, or the slavery of self and desire:
"Few know what freedom is, and what non-freedom is. All that which is of any love and its enjoyment appears to be freedom, and that which is contrary to them, non-freedom. What is of the love of self and the love of the world, and of their lusts, appears to man as freedom, but it is infernal freedom; while what is of love to the Lord and of love toward the neighbor, consequently of love for good and truth, is freedom itself, and is heavenly freedom." (Heavenly Arcana, n. 2870)
True spiritual freedom comes when one resists temptation of evil and falsity:
"But they who have compelled themselves against evil and falsity — though at first they thought that this was from themselves or from their own power, but were afterwards enlightened to see that their effort was from the Lord, even to the least of all the particulars of the effort — these in the other life cannot be led by evil spirits but are among the happy. Thus it may be evident that a man ought to compel himself to do good and to speak the truth. The hidden truth within this is, that a man is thus gifted with what is heavenly for his own by the Lord. That which is heavenly of his own is formed in the effort of his thought; and if he does not maintain this effort by compelling himself, as the appearance is, he certainly does not by not compelling himself.
"That it may be plain how this is, let it be observed that in all self-compulsion to good there is a certain freedom, which is not discerned as such when one is in the work of compelling, but still it is within; as in one who is willing to undergo the risk of death for the sake of a certain end, or in him who is willing to suffer bodily pains for the sake of health, there is a willingness and thus a certain freedom from which each acts; although the dangers and the pains, while he is in them, take away his perception of the willingness or freedom. So it is with those who compel themselves to good. There is a willingness within and thus a freedom, from which and for the sake of which they compel themselves; that is, they do this for the sake of obedience to what the Lord has commanded, and for the sake of the salvation of their soul after death; in which still more interiorly there is, though the man does not know it, a regard for the Lord's kingdom and even for the Lord Himself.
"This is the case most of all in temptations, for in these, when a man compels himself to resist the evil and falsity which are infused and suggested by evil spirits, there is more of freedom than is possible in any state out of temptations, although the man cannot then comprehend this; for there is an interior freedom, from which he wishes to subjugate evil, and this so great as to equal the force and strength of the evil which assaults; otherwise he could not contend with it. This freedom is from the Lord, Who insinuates it into the man's conscience and by means of it causes him to overcome the evil as from what is his own. Through this freedom man acquires a nature of his own into which the Lord can bring good. Without a nature of his own acquired, that is, given, through freedom, no one can ever be reformed; because he cannot receive the new will, which is conscience." (Heavenly Arcana, n. 1937.3-5)
All freedom is from one's love:
"All that is called Freedom which is of the will, thus which is of the love. Consequently freedom manifests itself by the enjoyment of willing and thinking, and thence of doing and speaking. For all enjoyment is of love, and all love is of the will, and the will is the esse of man's life.
"To do evil from the enjoyment of love appears to be freedom, but it is servitude, because it is from hell. To do good from the enjoyment of love appears to be freedom and is indeed freedom, because it is from the Lord. It is therefore servitude to be led of hell, and it is freedom to be led of the Lord. This the Lord thus teaches in John: Every one that committeth sin is the servant of sin. The servant abideth not in the house for ever: the Son abideth for ever. If the Son shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed (viii. 34-36)." (Heavenly Arcana, n. 9585-9586)
LOVE OR FREEDOM MUST BE GUIDED BY TRUTH


All doctrines and teachings of the New Church are based on love and truth.  Love must be guided by truth lest it become adulterated, and truth must lead to love.  In spiritual regeneration, one is first guided by truth until one lives a life of love:
"When a man is being regenerated, that is, when he is to be conjoined to the Lord, he proceeds to the conjunction by means of truth, that is, through the truths of faith; for no one can be regenerated except through knowledges of faith, which are truths, by means of which he proceeds to conjunction. The Lord goes to meet these through good, that is, charity, and applies this to the knowledges of faith, that is, to its truths; for all truths are the recipient vessels of good, and so the more genuine the truths are, and the more they are multiplied, the more abundantly can good accept them as vessels, reduce them to order, and at length manifest itself; so that at last the truths do not appear, except so far as good shines through them. In this way truth becomes celestial spiritual. As the Lord is present only in the good which is of charity alone, man is in this way conjoined to the Lord, and through good, that is, through charity, is gifted with conscience, from which he afterwards thinks what is true and does what is right; but this conscience is according to the true and right things to which the good or charity is applied." (Heavenly Arcana, n. 2063.3)
Again:
"The primary thing of the rational with man is truth (as said before, n. 2072); consequently it is the affection for truth, to the end that man may be reformed, and so regenerated. This is effected by interior and exterior knowledges, that are of truth; which are continually being implanted in good, that is, in charity, that so he may receive the life of charity. It is on this account that the affection for truth in man is predominant in his rational. For it is the case with the life of charity, which is the heavenly life itself, that with those who are being reformed and regenerated, it is continually born and growing up and receiving increments, and this by means of truths; the more of truth, therefore, there is introduced, the more is the life of charity perfected; wherefore charity exists with a man according to the quality and quantity of truth." (Heavenly Arcana, n. 2189.2)
Knowing the truth, and then acting according to what is true, is the process by which one is cleansed from sin and evil and brought to what is good, which brings true spiritual happiness.  The entire Word concerns the conjunction of love with truth, and truth with love.  What is presented here is all but a very short summary introduction to the doctrines of the New Church.

FREEDOM, JUSTICE AND EFFICIENCY

From the revelations given to Emanuel Swedenborg, we have spoken of the principle of end, cause and effect.  The "end" is one's purpose, or one's primary love, and it is one's purpose or intent which forms one's spiritual body in the afterlife.  The principle of end, cause and effect can be expressed in another manner: love, truth and usefulness.  This principle can again be expressed in another manner, which is very applicable to forming a just society: FREEDOM, JUSTICE, and EFFICIENCY.

One will see that this teaching is similar to what was revealed in the waking visions of Emanuel Swedenborg.  So, where does this philosophy come from?  It allegedly comes from an extraterrestrial contact back in the 1960s to one Stefan Danaerde, a millionaire who owned his own business in the Netherlands (see Extraterrestrial Contact from Iarga: their Origin and Philosophy for more background on this).


They explained their society through the use of a three dimensional hologram.  Their society was at one point threatened to extinction, and these three principles were revealed to a female "prophet" of sorts. I will quote from the work, UFO Contact from Iarga, by W.C. Stevens. So they begin:
"We were faced with the problem of feeding and housing the billions of beings which we needed in order to achieve our creation goal, on the smallest possible area of land. This imposed the greatest demands on our planning and social systems; these demands do not occur on Earth, you have room to spare."What we needed to create a high level of culture were three things: freedom, justice and efficiency. We will explain these concepts one at a time, beginning with the last, efficiency."
On their planet, without the application of efficiency their society would collapse, as their planet has limited resources compared to ours. The principle of EFFICIENCY is the application of usefulness.  It is seeking to accomplish the same task, or use, in a more efficient manner.  Thus technological progress seeks to do the same thing in a more efficient and cost effective manner.  One's work is the product of efficiency, companies that do well do things more efficiently.

Efficiency seeks the reduction of waste.  Thus concepts of individualism, and houses of individuals, are seen to be highly wasteful and inefficient.  Our houses are made of wood, which have a short lifespan requiring more maintenance. Most live far from where they work, cities are spread out requiring loss of time and gas in the daily commute: this is wasteful and inefficient. Individualism, selfish greed of the few over the many, is inefficient and wasteful.  Capitalism and profit seeking encourages waste.  This concept of efficiency hasn't taken hold on our planet, because up til now we have believed we had unlimited resources. However we have become more aware of it through knowledge of how we have been destroying and polluting the earth and its climate. When one of our primary resources - oil - becomes more scarce, the principle of efficiency will become more important. The same will be true as the ocean levels rise due to global warming.  The principle of efficiency is ignored when the focus is on war and competition:
"A race that lives under the constant threat of war and destruction does not logically make any plans for the distant future. For an absolute race, that is different. The continual improvement of our mental capacity directs our thoughts more and more into the future. We have created a planet on which our race can survive for an eternity. We live in a stable world on a clean planet, where the balance of nature can be maintained for unlimited time. We live for the future, because we expect great things from it. We are constantly occupied with making our world a better place to live in. The Earth, on the other hand, lives for the present and the past, and does not worry about the future generations."
The next principle that they explained was the concept of JUSTICE.  The application of justice is not just being treated equally under the law, but ensuring an egalitarian society, where more is not given to an individual or family beyond what they need.  Justice is a prerequisite for efficiency.  Justice here means "equal shares for everyone," where selfish greed and jealousy is suppressed.  Through efficiency, production capacity is increased to reduce each person's material want.  The principle of justice in this system of thought can be compared to doing good from truth, otherwise known as "spiritual good" in the doctrines of the New Church where love of the neighbor is primary.  Truth fights against sin, and sin is that which promotes selfish greed and desire over the need of the neighbor. Whereas Swedenborg speaks of truth or justice in a spiritual religious aspect, here the same concept is described in pure applicability to forming a just society. Without justice, there is no efficiency, and to stress this point one must look at the "efficiency of the justice."
"The low quality of our goods, helped by artificial aging, means that we simply throw away a large part of our welfare profit. Perhaps we can't help it because our mentality is wrong, but no matter how you try to excuse it, it remains stupid. They were dearly pleased that I was at last awake and was able to understand that efficiency and justice were not just loose, idealistic words."

After efficiency and justice, the next concept that is described is freedom.  Again, freedom is described in a way that is applicable to society:
"Freedom is the absence of compulsion and because compulsion is a form of discrimination, it follows that freedom is the absence of discrimination. A step further: freedom exists, logically, on the basis of justice and efficiency."
Freedom is not only the absence of social discrimination, but also the absence of selfish love:
"The selfish behavior of the masses, where everyone takes everything they can, prevents the ability to work for the common good-to create, for example, a clean planet where the balance of nature can be maintained for an unlimited time. It is also impossible to limit the use of natural resources for the sake of future generations, because a selfish person cannot give up anything for someone else. The greatest problem lies in the law of degeneration: a race that does not succeed in restoring the efficiency of natural selection as it existed in the prehistoric times shall become extinct."
Freedom is most expressed in creativity - either in material gain or creativity, or in immaterial gain or creativity.  Capitalistic societies stress material gain, and the happiness of that is short lived.  True freedom is expressed in immaterial gain:
"...there is the immaterial creativity-your Christian love - and this is lasting happiness. It is the continual striving to improve the living standards of others. It expresses itself in helpfulness, understanding, pity, tolerance, friendliness, esteem-in short, the total concept of unselfish love."
It is only in immaterial creativity that true happiness is achieved:
"Every unselfish deed, every self-sacrifice, heightens the feeling of personal value, of satisfaction. A man who has reached a high degree of unselfishness manifests a lasting personal value as a noticeable side of his personality - wisdom - which appears to be unaffected by setbacks or aging. He becomes invulnerable in his feeling of personal value, his peace with himself, his happiness. There is no alternative, Stef. Natural selection laws are inexorable. Only a race with a high level of unselfishness, or, as we call it, an immaterial structure, can survive."
For them, Christianity is not a religion, but the true means of creating a just society:
"The more we talk, the more we become convinced that you are not a Christian. The whole point of Christ's teaching - love - is completely strange to you. You have apparently never heard of the striving for unselfishness in the Buddhist religion. There is no choice. Only when man is free of material influences can he succeed in bringing up children who, through their unselfish mental attitude, can be really free and happy. You must teach them to love and concern themselves with others. They must learn to be very expressive with their feelings. This makes great demands on their eloquence, to be able to put their feelings into words. This is characterized by their honesty, spontaneity and enthusiasm, their helpfulness and, above all, their ability to raise their love contacts above the physical to great spiritual heights. We seek adventure in the quantity and depth of our human contacts. You have seen this all on the screen in front of you. Iarga is a planet where the people love each other, where people are happy to meet each other and where they find it a pity that they can only take one person at a time in their arms."
Freedom here is spiritual freedom, which is based on love.  This should not be just a religion, but should be the ultimate goal of a just society.

SUMMARY THOUGHTS AND CONCLUSIONS

The doctrine of the New Church of Love, Truth and Usefulness is a universal truth, and helps one understand the nature of all being and action, including the Supreme Being, the Divine.  This trine can be philosophically expressed as end, cause and effect.  In humans this is one's purpose, one's thoughts or rational understanding to fulfill one's purpose, and one's actions or way of life.  Anyone can examine their own internal purpose to determine the nature of one's eternal life.

Any religion, which is of belief alone, or faith alone, or of enlightenment alone, without application towards one's life is not a religion.  It is a false assurance of well being, which hides problems and road blocks to one's spiritual progress from truth towards love.  To progress towards what is good, one must first acknowledge the evils and falsehoods in one's self. Otherwise, there is no change or progress.

The principles of the New Church are universal, for everything that exists has relation to the principles of love and truth.  That it is universal can be seen in a reported extraterrestrial contact from the 1960s, where the same universal principles are described using slightly different terminology.  The language of the terminology indicates that these principles are not part of a religion as we know it, but rather they are principles used to form a just and equitable society.  The applications are manifold, but it requires a change in mindset and one it challenges our current assumptions of our own society and culture. For here there is an actual philosophy that is immediately applicable, which challenges our capitalistic society of material greed and competition.

Regardless of what one thinks regarding UFOs and reported extraterrestrial contacts, there is something to learn from the story in UFO Contact from Iarga.  There is an inherent truth in the teachings from this contact, and one can see that the teaching that they gave was quite foreign to the author, and at times he was opposed to it and argued with them on certain topics.  What amazed me when I first read this was that the teaching is similar to principles that were revealed in the waking visions of Emanuel Swedenborg, but in a different context. Once one gets beyond that initial prejudice of disbelief, actual reported contacts where they give advice that is useful that we can learn from and apply are few and far between.  Of all the research I did into UFOs or extraterrestrials, I felt that the reported contact from Iarga was like finding a gem or diamond among stones. It shows what is possible when the principles of the New Church are applied to one's life, and to one's society.
And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.  And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. (Rev. 21:1-2)
I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star. (Rev. 22:16)

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Extraterrestrial Contact, Christianity, and the Divine Human




If we were to make public extraterrestrial contact, how would it effect Christianity?  This hypothetical situation poses some interesting questions, and for many they would be unprepared for such a contact.

At the heart of the matter, Christianity is based on restoring humanity back to God after the fall of Adam. In the New Church, Adam represents the first spiritual race on this earth, from whom we are descended.  This race had direct contact with heaven, symbolized by the Garden of Eden.  However at some point they were tempted by external material things, and the desire to know things from one's own selfish ego, and this caused Adam's separation from heaven. As time progressed, we all became separated from God immersed in self and material things. It is for this reason that it became necessary for God to become incarnate in visible form to save the human race.

So, what about those extraterrestrials who are not descended from Adam?  There is this interesting article How Would Christianity Deal with Extraterrestrial Life?, which proposes several solutions to the problem:
  1.     Jesus' death and resurrection on Earth covers all beings on all worlds and at all times.
  2. Jesus goes through a similar process of life, death, and resurrection on innumerable planets to save innumerable beings and creatures.
  3. Human beings, as galactic missionaries, will ultimately colonize the universe and spread the Word of God to heathen ETs.
  4. There are other mechanisms to attain salvation on other planets.
  5. Salvation is not offered to other beings and creatures on other planets.
  6. There are no other sentient beings on other planets anywhere; humans are utterly unique.
  7. The human race on earth is in a unique position, having fallen into such evil and darkness to have required an extreme form of redemption - the incarnation.

Which of these is correct?  Most will agree that option #5 is unreasonable and should be excluded.  Option #6 is false - there is strong evidence, suppressed by intelligence agencies and the media, that we have been contacted by extraterrestrials since the explosion of the atomic bomb (see Reanalysis of the 1965 Heflin Photos for one strong case among many). Moreover, Emanuel Swedenborg, who had clairvoyant visions that were highly accurate and validated, encountered other extraterrestrials humans in his visions. If option #5 is false, and #6 is true, then option #4 exposes the theological falsehood that one must belong to a religion in order to achieve salvation. For that reason, narrow minded religious leaders may have issues in acknowledging any extraterrestrial existence. Option #2 is interesting, let's discuss that first:

CAN THERE BE MULTIPLE INCARNATIONS OF THE DIVINE?

Could God could choose to become incarnate multiple times, when necessary?  Something similar to this is described in an alleged contact by the extraterrestrial Ummites (see The Extraterrestrial Christianity of UMMO), where in their letters they were shocked to find someone like Jesus Christ to have been born on our planet, as He was similar to a prophet of theirs born on their planet. I at first dismissed this case entirely, until I found internal evidence in the letters that could not have been faked.

Eastern religions with their multiple avatars would probably say yes to multiple incarnations due to their belief in reincarnation, a common concept I have discussed earlier (see Christianity, Reincarnation and Emanuel Swedenborg and The Origin of the Soul, the Group Soul and Reincarnation). The answer from most Christian theologians would probably be negative to this proposal, for different reasons.  While the older Christian churches follow the Nicene Creed which conceives of a Son of God "born from eternity," the New Church states that the Son of God is the human that was born to the virgin Mary in time, fulfilling the prophecy of Ps. 2:6 - "Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee." That there is no such thing as a Son of God born from eternity, but only one born in time to Mary, is shown in Luke 1:35 where the child born to her would be called the Son of God as the child was conceived by the Holy Spirit. This is the doctrine of the New Church.

In the visions of Emanuel Swedenborg, he was told that while the soul of Jesus was Divine which He had from the Father, He inherited a body from his human mother that had sinful tendencies, The Divine soul within Jesus resisted these sinful tendencies through which the hells attacked Him until He overcame the hells and made His human Divine.  In this process, the Lord successively put off the human from the mother, and transformed the body into a "Divine substantial" body, one derived from His very soul.  As such, after the resurrection, Jesus was no longer the son of Mary, but a glorified Divine Human.

Before assuming a human body, in His pre-existent state Jesus was one and the same with Jehovah.  Before the incarnation, Jehovah did appear in the angelic heavens under a human form:
"Before the coming of the Lord there was a Divine Human of Jehovah in the heavens, for by passing through the heavens He presented Himself as a Divine Man before many on earth. But at that time the Divine Human was not so one with the Divine itself, which is called the Father, as when the Lord made it in Himself altogether one." (Heavenly Arcana, n. 6000.7)
This suggests that the incarnation was a one time event.  But what was this Divine Man of heaven that preexisting before the incarnation? Swedenborg explains this later: before the incarnation Divine influx proceeded to humanity through the angelic celestial heaven, which ended after Jesus made his body Divine:
"Before the coming of the Lord into the world, there was influx of life with men and with spirits from Jehovah or the Lord through the celestial kingdom, that is, through the angels who were in that kingdom, and hence they then had power. But when the Lord came into the world, and thereby made the Human in Himself Divine, He put on just that which was with the angels of the celestial kingdom, thus He put on that power. For, the Divine that had flowed through that heaven had before been the Divine Human; it was also the Divine Man, which was presented when Jehovah so appeared; but this Divine Human ceased when the Lord Himself made the Human in Himself Divine." (Heavenly Arcana, n. 6371.2)
The pre-existent Divine Man was thus dependent on angelic societies for communication with humanity. In the spiritual world, when good and truth flow into a human being, it takes on the form of a human, for the human form is the external representation of good and truth itself. The reason why it was superceded, is by the time Jesus came into the world the power of hell had become dominant over humanity, to such an extent that it even threatened the lower angelic heavens as well.  Communication between heaven and humanity was being cut off, which is the means by which good and truth flows into each human being. Thus the incarnation was a necessity for saving the human race.

However, this still may not answer the question. Can the Divine become incarnate in human flesh multiple times? From the visions of Swedenborg, we know that the humanity he had from Mary was replaced with a Divine Human, derived from the soul so that the Father (soul) and Son (body) truly became one and Divine. But to first answer this question, one must understand that there are three degrees or planes of the Divine that are infinite and uncreated:
"That there are three infinite and uncreated degrees of altitude in the Lord, is because the Lord is Love Itself and Wisdom Itself, ...and because the Lord is Love Itself and Wisdom Itself, therefore also He is Use Itself; for love has use for its end, which it produces by means of wisdom. For love and wisdom without use have no boundary or end, that is, they have no home of their own; wherefore it cannot be said that they are and exist unless there be a use in which they are. These three constitute the three degrees of altitude in the subjects of life. These three are as the first end, the middle end which is called the cause, and the last end which is called the effect." (Divine Love and Wisdom, n. 230)
These three degrees or planes exist in each human as the will, the thought, and the action of the will as conceived by the thought.  This is in fact where the Trinity originates - not as three distinct persons as defined by the 4th century Nicene Creed, but as three planes of the Divine which exists in one person. But in his waking visions, Swedenborg was told what changed when the Divine chose to become incarnate in a human:
"I have been told from heaven that in the Lord from eternity, Who is Jehovah, before the assumption of the Human in the world, there were the two prior degrees actually, and the third degree in potency, such as they are also with the angels; but that after the assumption of the Human in the world, He put on also the third degree, which is called the natural, and that thereby He became a man similar to man in the world, with the difference, however, that this degree, like the prior degrees, is infinite and uncreated in Him, while these degrees in angel and in man are finite and created. For the Divine which had filled all spaces without space (n. 69-72), penetrated also to the ultimate things of nature. But before the assumption of the Human, the Divine influx into the natural degree was mediate through the angelic heavens, but after the assumption immediate from Himself. And this is the reason why all the churches in the world before His coming were representative of spiritual and celestial things, but after His coming became spiritual-natural and celestial-natural, and representative worship was abolished. This too was the reason why the sun of the angelic heaven, which, as was said above, is the first proceeding of His Divine Love and Divine Wisdom, after the assumption of the Human shone forth with a more glorious radiance and splendor than before the assumption. This also is meant by these words in Isaiah: In that day the light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun shall be seven-fold, as the light of seven days (xxx. 26). This is said of the state of heaven and the church after the Lord's coming into the world. And in the Apocalypse: The face of the Son of Man was as the sun shineth in his strength (i. 16; and elsewhere, as in Isaiah ix. 20; 2 Sam. xxiii. 3, 4; Matt. xvii. 1, 2). The mediate enlightenment of men through the angelic heaven, which existed before the coming of the Lord, may be compared to the light of the moon which is the mediate light of the sun; and because this light after His coming was made immediate, it is said in Isaiah that "the light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun;" and in the Psalms: In His days shall the just flourish, and abundance of peace until the moon be no more (lxxii. 7); this also is spoken of the Lord." (Divine Love and Wisdom, n. 233)
So the answer, it would seem, is conclusive: the incarnation of the Divine was a singular unique event.  Either that, or our human civilization on this planet happens to be the only one that has sunk so far downward into the evil of the selfish ego and external materialism. As the Son of God is the human born in time to the virgin Mary, who pre-existed as Jehovah, and if this can only happen once, then the cost of the sacrifice is very clear: it can only happen once. And this is why Jesus is called the "only begotten" -
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)
The only begotten Son is not another person, but rather, the only begotten Son is His human form in the external natural world. But there is one more item that makes the answer even more clear and definitive. In his work, Earths in the Universe, Swedenborg explored other spiritual societies of extraterrestrials in his visions, and explained the reasons why the Lord was born on our earth and not on another.  Because of this, I believe that either we will eventually explore other solar systems, or the extraterrestrials will come to visit us.

Other extraterrestrial societies may have only had the experience of a prophet or messenger that guided them in the past, but they are just that: a prophet or teacher. If not spiritually enlightened, similar to Islam they may confuse Jesus with a prophet, master teacher, or angelic avatar.  

ONLY THE HUMAN RACE ON EARTH HAD NEED FOR A VISIBLE INCARNATION

So, turning back to the list of possible reactions of Christianity to extraterrestrial contact, what about option #7, which states that the human race is in a unique adverse position which required the incarnation of the Divine in human form for salvation?  Is this true?

In the visions of Emanuel Swedenborg, the answer to this question is a definite yes.  Of all societies in the universe, the human race on earth is perhaps the worst, and required that the Divine become incarnate in visible form.  This view was also proposed by the theologian Thomas O'Meara at the University of Notre Dame.  Jesus did not come to save everybody.  He came to save those who were lost, those who were sinners.  The visions of Emanuel Swedenborg was more clear - the most ancient church, also known as the "celestial" church, was not in need of this form of redemption. The ancient antediluvian celestial church was in love or union with God, and as they had complete communion with heaven, there was no need for a Divine incarnation to restore it, However after the fall, the later "spiritual" church, which was cut off from direct contact with heaven unlike the ancient celestial church, had need for this:
"The Lord did not come into the world to save the celestial, but the spiritual. The Most Ancient Church, which was called Adam, was celestial. If this had remained in its integrity, the Lord would have had no need of being born man. Therefore as soon as this church began to decline, the Lord foresaw that the celestial church would wholly perish from the world; and on that account the prediction was then made concerning the Lord's coming into the world (Gen. iii. 15). After the time of that church, there was no longer a celestial church, but a spiritual church; the Ancient Church, which was after the flood — spoken of many times in the First Part — was a spiritual church. This church, or they who were of the spiritual church, could not be saved unless the Lord had come into the world. This is meant by the Lord's words in Matthew: They that are strong have no need of a physician, but they who are sick. . . . I came not to call the just, but sinners to repentance (ix. 12, 13). Also by these words in John: And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they shall hear My voice, and there shall be one flock and one Shepherd (x. 16). Also by the parable of the hundred sheep, in Matthew (xviii. 11-13)." (Heavenly Arcana, n. 2661.2)
The parable of the 100 sheep is quite clear: out of one hundred, we are the only ones who have gone astray in the way that we have.  This means that is quite likely that should we ever have an extraterrestrial contact, they are more likely to have higher ethical and spiritual values.  As such, open contact between our society and an extraterrestrial society would be harmful for the extraterrestrial society, and they will take a defensive and anonymous position against our hostile military and warlike behaviour.  Thus our earth may be marked as "off limits" or "under quarantine," until we do something sufficiently and collectively stupid enough to learn our lesson.  Perhaps the exception to this rule would be to ensure we don't kill ourselves and destroy the planet in the process.

THE STRANGE STORY OF DR. STRANGES OF THE STRANGER AT THE PENTAGON

Some may now be reminded of one particular stranger at the Pentagon, a German scientist named Dr. Strangelove, who concocted a strange plan for human survival by living underground in case of a nuclear war:



However we are not talking about Dr. Strangelove here. That's just an inside joke.

In the 1950s, one Howard Menger claimed to have had extraterrestrial contacts, and held meetings on the topic at his home in New Jersey.  At one of those events, one Air Force photographer noted that one of the men was acting differently, and was able to speak in several languages.  His name was Valiant Thor, here is one of the photographs he took:


The photographer eventually gave a copy of the photograph to one Dr. Frank Stranges, a Christian Minister.  Through a round about way, Dr. Stranges eventually found out that Valiant Thor was staying at the Pentagon for a three year period from 1957-60, and met him there.  Valiant Thor claimed to be from Venus, where they have an underground base.  Dr. Stranges eventually wrote a book on the encounter entitled Stranger at the Pentagon. Frank Stranges stated that he kept in touch with Valiant Thor up to his death in 2008.  Here is a summary of the case and the witnesses who were involved:



So, why do I bring this up?  There is one particular conversation Frank Stranges had with Valiant Thor that I would like to quote:

The only thing he said that troubled me was his use of the expression "when the time is right" in response to my question as to whether or not I would see him again. His lack of fingerprints intrigued me as I had been involved as a private investigator for quite some time, even working at times on loan to some of the Government agencies.

I had learned the science of fingerprints ...with the impression of the lines and whorls on the inner surface of the last joint of each finger on the human hand. He told me that all Earth people were thusly marked since the fall of Adam in the Garden of Eden, during the very dawn of civilization as we know it today.

He began to prepare me for the road which lie ahead. It would not be an easy one. There would be adversities, organized attempts to both discourage and discredit me, but the rewards have proved to outweigh these trials which continue even to this day.

We discussed the merits of Jesus Christ ... how He gave His Life freely... so that men could enjoy the benefits of eternal life. I questioned him about a Bible on Venus and he assured me that a personal unbroken fellowship with the "Author" did not necessitate the printing of a "book". He found it amusing that many theologians attempt to discredit both Jesus Christ and The Bible. The very God many have said is "dead" continues to lavish them with all good things. Perhaps they will, in time, permit the spark of Divine Light to again illuminate their troubled hearts.

In answer to my question of what he thought of Jesus Christ, he said,
"I know that Jesus is the Alpha and Omega of yours and everyone else's faith. He today has assumed His rightful position as the ruler of the universe and is preparing a place and a time for all who are called by His Name to ascend far above the clouds to where His Power and Authority shall never again be disputed.

"I believe that Jesus Christ is the wonder of wonders and changes not. No, not forever and forever."
As he spoke these words, my own heart burned within me and tears filled my eyes. He turned to the window and said, "Frank, it will not be long. Contend for the faith, and you will never miss the mark."

I asked him if there is life on other planets.
 
His reply was,
"There is life on many other planets of which people on Earth know nothing. There are more solar systems for which man has not even given God credit. There are many beings that have never transgressed the perfect laws of God. Man does not possess the right to condemn the whole of God's creation because he himself has broken the perfect laws of God through disobedience."

So there we have it.  There is apparently another branch of humanity, not descended from Adam, dwelling on other planets who have an unbroken fellowship with their Maker.  Since they have an unbroken fellowship, there is no need to go backwards and learn what they know in the heart from a book.  In Swedenborg's writings, it would be unnecessary for humans with an inner celestial perception to engage in an outward form of knowing.  For many on earth, religion is a matter of belief only, and not about how one lives. For these extraterrestrials, it is about living according to God's commandments.

These other interesting point is that these alleged extraterrestrials from Venus know who Jesus Christ is.  In Swedenborg's visions, although many extraterrestrial societies were aware that God is a Divine Human in heaven, they were unaware that He had chosen to become physically incarnate.  They had found attempts to "convert" them confusing, as they did not understand Christianity due to the falsehoods that had become the foundation of much of the theology. However, Swedenborg stated that those from Venus were one of the few societies who already knew who the Lord was.  For those who follow Jesus Christ, an extraterrestrial may say this:
"We are God's celestial army."
And yet they are human, and perhaps may say something like this as well:
"The principles of good and evil are universal."
SO WHY THE INCARNATION?

If the principles of good and evil are universal, and inasmuch as one does good by the truth that one knows one approaches God and heaven, then why the incarnation?  The issue for our planet, was that the spirits of hell became dominant over the angels of heaven, bringing things out of balance. Free will of humanity depends on the equilibrium between heaven and hell.  To correct this, God took upon human flesh which could be tempted, and through that human fought against the temptations of hell. Upon the resurrection, all of heaven and hell were brought into order. To remove sins, it is still necessary to repent. There is no such thing as an "automatic transfer" of sins from one person to another.  Salvation did not change, but now with the Christian revelation we recognize it is God's spirit flowing into us that allows us to turn away from evil, and commit ourselves to His will. The Lord continues to save, but only through the process of repentance.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

The Lost Doctrine of the Temple of the Divine Human



One of the main lost teachings of Christianity, kept hidden from many, is that when the Word became incarnate in flesh in Jesus Christ, a process began where the Divine within began to cleanse sin from the human body He inherited from the mother.  The crucifixion was the last temptation, and when Jesus overcame that, all of hell was conquered and upon the resurrection His human body was made Divine.  It was this process of glorifying His human, until nothing remained from the human mother, is what effected the salvation of the human race from hell itself. It is His human body which is the Son of God or the Divine Human, it is not another person.

So why did this teaching become lost?  There are several reasons:

  1. When Jesus was born, he was born as a prophet, and had inherited sinful tendencies from his mother through which the Divine within could directly engage in battle with hell.  Before He was glorified, He kept His identity secret.
  2. The early Christian church was plagued by many heresies, centering around the true identity of Jesus.
  3. In order to suppress the heresies, the Nicene Council was convened which invented the doctrine of three persons (the trinity of three distinct persons), essentially creating a hidden form of tritheism in people's minds.
  4. The doctrine of the Divine Human was lost, and at that point serious debates arose in the Christian church. It was then decided that Jesus has two natures: the Divine, and that of an ordinary human. This was partly done to support the Papacy as the Vicar of Christ.
  5. The original Christians from the Middle East were then declared to be heretics.
  6. The post Nicene church then gradually placing more emphasis on Mary, with the Catholics inventing the doctrine of "Immaculate Conception" declaring Mary was born without sin.
The doctrine of the Divine Human is essential to Christianity, and without understanding it, one will only have an obscure idea of the truth in the Christian revelation and can be easily misled by religious authorities.  In the New Church, this doctrine is essential and central to all teachings (see The Divine Human of the New Church), and support for it can be found throughout all of scripture:

THE JEWISH TEMPLE REPRESENTS THE DIVINE HUMAN

One symbolic representation of the Divine Human appears constantly in scripture when referencing the Jewish temple.  The Jewish temple is just a building, but everything about it was symbolic and representative of the Divine Human, and in a lower sense the temple rituals symbolically represent the spiritual progression of every human being. The Jews, for the most part, were unaware of this and some placed all the spiritual value of the temple in sacrificing animals. However there are explicit prophecies that the Messiah would make his appearance in the Second Temple, which was built in the 6th century B.C. following the Babylonian captivity:
The latter glory of this house shall be greater than the former, says Jehovah of hosts. And in this place I will give peace, declares Jehovah of hosts. (Hag. 2:9)
Some Jews who are aware of this prophecy simply claim that the second temple was just a more glorious building than the first temple built by Solomon.  But the following prophecy is more clear:
Behold, I send my messenger, and he will prepare the way before me. And the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple; and the messenger of the covenant in whom you delight, behold, he is coming, says Jehovah of hosts. (Mal. 3:1)
The Second Temple was destroyed in 70 A.D.  This is problematic for Jews that still await the Messiah.  They sort of missed the boat on that one. Others may be undecided:



So how do we know that the Jewish temple is a symbolic representation of the Divine Human?  When Jesus entered the temple, he cleansed the temple of money changers with a whip of cords, overturning their tables. This was a literal historical event, but it has a deeper spiritual significance.  The spiritual meaning is that during his ministry Jesus was cleansing his own human form from the sinful tendencies he had inherited from his human mother. Thus Jesus said this prayer:
Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.
As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.
And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth
. (John 17:17-19)
To "sanctify" is to make holy.  The meaning of this statement is Jesus progressively removed sin from his body, from what he inherited from his mother, until He made His body Divine, a Divine Human - and from that flows the Holy Spirit, or Divine truth, which sanctifies everyone.  When sin is removed or overcome in oneself, evil spirits that influenced one's thoughts are forced to withdraw, which Swedenborg describes in his visions of the spiritual world, for he saw that surrounding each person were spirits - good and evil - influencing their behaviour.  This is how Jesus "cleared out" the demons that has ascended and began to control the spiritual world between heaven and hell, and this is symbolized by Jesus clearing out the money changers from the outer court of the temple. After Jesus cleared out the temple, he had this dialogue with the Jews:
So the Jews said to him, “What sign do you show us for doing these things?” Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” The Jews then said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will you raise it up in three days?” But he was speaking about the temple of his bodyWhen therefore he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this, and they believed the Scripture and the word that Jesus had spoken. (John 2:18-22)
What is very clear now is that by three days Jesus meant his body would rise from the dead and become glorified three days after the crucifixion.  The other meaning of this is that the heaven would be brought back into order, for the temple is also a symbol of heaven - and that is because all of heaven exists from an emanation of the Divine truth from the Divine Human. This is not clear from the literal sense of scripture, but became more clear when this was revealed in the visions of Emanuel Swedenborg and Catherine Anne Emmerich.

THE SYMBOLISM OF THE NUMBER FORTY SIX (46)

There is something else hidden in the above passage of scripture. Every word and story in scripture (besides certain books of the writings) has a spiritual meaning, no matter how insignificant it seems.  Emanuel Swedenborg amply demonstrated this in a word by word analysis of Genesis and Exodus in Heavenly Arcana, proving scripture is Divinly inspired.  So the meaning of the three days is obvious, but what is the meaning of the period of forty six years?  Yes, it is historically accurate, it took Herod forty six years to build up the second temple of the Jews.  But is there a hidden meaning to the period of forty six (46) years, related to the symbolism of the three days?

Consider this: each human being has 23 pairs of chromosomes.  When a male mates with a female, the sperm carries 23 chromosomes, and the ovum carries another set of 23 chromosomes, When the sperm fertilizes the egg, the 23 chromosomes of the sperm joins with the 23 chromosomes of the female ovum, forming an embryo.  EACH HUMAN BEING HAS FORTY SIX CHROMOSOMES:


The forty six years it took to build the temple is symbolic of the time period Jesus grew as an ordinary human, composed of 46 chromosomes.  In that time no one knew that their were forty six chromosomes in each cell of the human body.  This was unknown until the 19th century.  As Jesus was born of a virgin, it would be interesting to see what the result of a DNA test would have been.  My theory on that is that the virgin birth took place through parthenogenesis, where the female ovum divided on its own. This does take place in nature, but the sex chromosome is always an XX pair resulting in a female. Where did the Y chromosome come from? Some females have a genetic defect and are born with a Y chromosome (see Swyer Syndrome), but they are infertile and cannot bear children. So perhaps Mary had this?  Genetic science as far as I know indicates that YY human males are impossible, but there are cases of XYY males (see XYY syndrome). So possibly a case of parthenogenesis, and Jesus was an XYY male?  This would explain that although born of a virgin, Jesus was still of "the seed of David" (Rom. 1:3) and yet was the "seed of the woman" (Gen. 2).

Is forty six (46) mentioned anywhere else in scripture? Once, and only once:
Those that were numbered of them, even of the tribe of Reuben, were forty and six thousand and five hundred. (Num. 1:21)
This is interesting, as Reuben was actually the firstborn of Jacob.  As explained in Heavenly Arcana by Swedenborg, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob represents different aspects of the Divine Human, Jacob being the most external natural, Isaac the rational, and Abraham the Lord's inmost soul,  Reuben lost the birthright and the birthright passed on to Judah who was the father of the Jews, and thus the ancestor of Jesus.  This passage comes from the book of Numbers, and of all the numbers that appear in Numbers, this is the first one.  Its as if scripture was saying "pay attention to this number." So what is that extra "half" or 500 signify? An extra leftover chromosome?

Genetic speculation aside, the number forty six has a spiritual symbolism: that of forty (40) plus six (6).  Forty is the number of temptation, thus the Israelites wandered forty years in the wilderness, and Jesus was tempted 40 days in the wilderness.  Six is the number of combat.  So the number of 46 spiritually represents extreme combats against the temptations of hell, which Jesus went through until he died and rose from the dead. (see Spiritual Meaning of Numbers, or Numerology).

And with that, here is a trailer from the movie The Number 23: