In a previous blog, The Secret Symbolism of the Creation Myth, I described how the creation of heaven and earth is not a description of the creation of the universe, but rather the creation of a human being from the time of conception when the male seed achieves union with the female egg. This is described as serpent coiling about an egg in the Orphic mystery religion, and as a bird (the "Spirit of God") brooding over an egg.
In the visions of Emanuel Swedenborg, he was shown that the seven days of creation are seven stages of spiritual development in man. Whereas the literal sense seems to describe the creation of the world, the more spiritual sense describes the creation of a spiritual being. The more spiritual sense of scripture is revealed through symbolism, or what Swedenborg said was a series of "correspondences". When describing heaven and earth, earth represents one's external body, formed from the earth of the ground, and heaven represents one's internal soul - for it is the spirit which enters heaven. In fact, we already dwell in heaven or hell, just we are not aware of it as we are preoccupied with the senses of the body. We only become aware of where we are after the body dies, and our spiritual sight is opened.
The initial state of all of us is described as earth being "formless and void" - that is, a wasteland or desert. From the state of infancy, to the time when spiritual development begins, is a state of the selfish ego and materialism. Love of self and the world reigns supreme. One tries to be better than others. Selfish satisfaction is more important than the needs of others. It is the ego which is directly opposed to the will of God. God's will in our lives is represented as a Spirit, a dove hovering over us. Among the Eastern Orthodox we have the prayer: God have mercy on me, a sinner. For we have greatly sinned. The Spirit of God approaches as we let go of our pride, and humble ourselves at God's feet. This first simple step, is the step many are unwilling to take.
And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
And God saw the light, that it was good:
and God divided the light from the darkness. Gen. 1:3-4
Light is spiritual truth, causing us to separate truth from falsity, taking us out of our spiritual darkness, bondage and depression. It is spiritual enlightenment. Truth is what sanctifies, truth is what sets us free. And the primary truth: all that is good in humanity comes from God. God is Good, and God desires to live inside of us. God offers us the gift of Light.
This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another. 1 John 1:5-7.
Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. 1 Thes. 5:5
For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light. Eph. 5:8
The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. Rom. 13:12
I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believes in me should not abide in darkness. John 12:46
In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
And the light shineth in darkness;
and the darkness comprehended it not. John 1:4-5
And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God. John 3:19-21
God Himself is Divine Love, a fire that no man can approach and live. But from that fire emanates Divine Light, and that Divine Light is what gives us life. We are receivers of that Light, like a prism we choose how to reflect it. If we are a perfect reflection of that Light, we will reflect white, if we absorb everything into ourselves and reflect nothing, we will reflect black, and will live in darkness. This is why whiteness is symbolic of truth and purity, and darkness is symbolic of what is false.
In the physical world, white light contains all spectrums of visible light: the seven colors of the rainbow. This was first discovered by Isaac Newton, although light is a continuous spectrum, he divided it into seven from the ancient Greek belief that there was a connection between colors, the music notes, the known objects of the solar system, and the days of the week.
But physical light is but a material manifestation of the Divine Light. God is Light, and many people who have had a Near Death Experience have seen themselves going through a tunnel, at the end of which is a great White Light. And when they reach this Light, they become full of bliss and peace, pure Love. They are asked one question, which the Light will ask all of us: What have you done with your life?
Once this Light is encountered, one's life flashes before your eyes. Every single act we did is examined, and how it affected others. For acts of love, there is no condemnation: those who live by the light, shall enter the Light. Such a Light that is seen after death was revealed to Emanuel Swedenborg in his visions, and was written about in the Tibetan Book of the Dead.
Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts. 1 Cor. 4:5
And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret. But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever makes manifest is light. Wherefore he says, Awake ye who sleep, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give you light. Eph. 5:11-14.
But why wait until we die? We can meditate on that Divine Light now, to be revealed to all who seek it. He who dies before he dies, does not die when he dies. Let the old life die, let the new life be born anew.