Monday, October 29, 2012

Old Christianity vs. the New Revelation

The book of Revelation speaks of the city of New Jerusalem which will descend out of heaven, which is a prophecy of a New Church which will be established in the future.  It is actually being fulfilled now.  Unknown to most people, a dramatic revelation was made in the 18th century to Emanuel Swedenborg.  For a period of 27 years, his vision was opened to receive revelations from heaven.  And he wrote enormously.  He revealed the true inner spiritual teachings of Christianity - but in the process, many errors that continue to be taught in churches have been exposed.  Thus you will not hear about him in your church - there has also been a concerted effort to malign him, or to censor him completely.  Thus he is still an unknown.

Why is this revelation unknown?  Let us summarize the common errors and false teachings which are taught in Christian Churches, which will demonstrate the need to establish a New Church:

God is One, One Divine Being.  He is not three divine beings

This is the most common error.  It is also a foundational belief of most Christian theology. It is quite logical to believe in one God.  The belief in three divine beings comes from a misinterpretation of scripture, by reading it in a literal manner.  This belief was not established until the 4th century A.D., about 300 years after the death and resurrection of Jesus.

There is a Trinity: the Divine Itself, the Divine Human, and the Divine Proceeding

The mystery of the Trinity was revealed: it is not three divine beings, it is a Divine procession.  God Himself is so big, so infinite, and so beyond us that He cannot be approached directly by humans.  This is the Divine Itself.  In order to become manifest to our human minds, He appears in human form. This is the Divine Human. Scripture states that Jesus is the image of the unseen God.  From the Divine Human the Divine spirit proceeds and influences all of humanity: this is the Divine Proceeding, or Holy Spirit.  Thomas Aquinas spoke of the Divine Procession, unfortunately his theology was still trapped by the idea of three divine beings.  As a positive development, Oneness Pentecostals have a similar doctrine, although it was developed independently from the revelation given to Swedenborg.

The Son of God was born in time, not from eternity

This is another big error of the Christian Church.  The Son of God was the human born in time to the virgin Mary.  There is no such thing as a Son of God born from eternity - this is a belief that was added in the Nicene Creed.  Yes, Jesus did pre-exist as Jehovah, because He is Jehovah Himself.  There is no such thing as a "second" person who then descends and becomes incarnate.  In Him there was a Trinity of soul, body, and operation: this was the physical manifestation of the Divine, the Divine Human, and Divine Proceeding. As Paul stated, the fullness of the Godhead resides in Jesus bodily.

The Human born in time was made Divine

This is a truth that became lost once the Christian Church declared the existence of three divine beings.  Jesus, once born, had to fight against evil and temptations which he inherited in the external human body from the virgin Mary.  The minute He was born, there was a full blown war between Heaven and Hell: Jehovah began to fight directly against all of Hell, as they attempted to get Him to commit a sin.  He gradually progressed in human growth, until the Human itself was made Divine at the resurrection.  Most modern churches still divide the Divine and human natures of Jesus.  The Catholic Church, in order to claim that their Pope is the Vicar of Christ, will stress the two separate natures. In fact, they helped invent this doctrine. This theology is known as "Chaldedonian."  Because of Chalcedonian theology, most of the original Christians of the Middle East were declared heretics!  Some of this truth is expressed in the mysteries of the Orthodox faith.

As a corollary, it is false to believe that Jesus was just a prophet or a good teacher. This is an outward appearance.  Nor was he just an avatar or incarnate angelic being.  There is more than just a prophet here. He is the Divine made manifest in human form.  Read the Gospels, and understand the claims Jesus made about Himself.

No Sins were Transferred to Jesus on the Cross

The crucifixtion was the last temptation of Jesus, before His Human was made Divine.  In common Christian theology, it is believed that sins are somehow automatically transferred onto Jesus on the cross.  This is also known as "vicarious atonement."  Many believe in instantaneous salvation by just uttering lip confession, and everything is said and done.  This is not only a false belief, it has some very bad consequences: people begin not to take responsibility for their actions.  It is especially apparent among those who stress that salvation comes by faith alone.  The sins that Jesus suffered are the sins He inherited in the human body from the virgin Mary.  And, this was all of sin, all of evil.  For as His love of humanity was infinite, so the hatred and evil of hell increased against Him as he continued to defeat evil.

There are many passages in scripture that mention the "blood" of Jesus.  The bread and wine of the Eucharist are symbolic of His body and blood, and when He made His Human Divine He became the human form of Divine love and truth.  "Blood" is symbolic of the Divine truth.  It is truth which sanctifies a person: we act according to the truth that we know.  That "blood" has this symbolic significance as referring to truth itself, requires an understanding of the spiritual sense of scripture.

Salvation is through Jesus, by Repentance

One must repent, or turn away, from their own sins and pride in order to begin the process of salvation.  Sins that one turns away from and held in aversion are the sins that become removed.  Repentance involves self-examination.  One must do this as if from himself or herself, but acknowledge that only Jesus, the Divine Human can accomplish this through the Holy Spirit.  As Jesus conquered all of Hell, and became Divine, the Divine proceeded from Him as the Holy Spirit.  This Holy Spirit begins to dwell in your heart as you acknowledge your sins, and turn away from them.

How is repentance dependent on what Jesus did?  Human free will has a spiritual origin, it comes from a balance between heaven and hell.  In our inner psychology, this balance appears as the choice between good and evil.  This is communicated by angels or evil spirits.  By the time Jesus came, this balance was broken, hell had gained ascendancy and power over mankind, and even the lower angels.  That is why God chose to become incarnate: to reorder heaven and hell, and provide a direct link between God and humankind.

There is no Faith Separate from Works or Good Deeds

This is the error of the Protestants: faith is stated to be belief only.  This comes from a misinterpretation of the writings of Paul, where he spoke against the "works of the law."  However what Paul was talking about was not about good deeds in general, but about the ritualistic ceremonies of the Mosaic law for the Jews. These were symbolic rituals, which no longer were necessary once they became fulfilled in the Christian revelation.  One must love God with all their heard, mind, body and will.  Unfortunately for Protestant theology, it believes that the humans are passive subjects.  No, you must submit your will to God.  You must serve not just in thought but in actions according to your thought.  There are many passages in scripture which talk about how one must hear and do, hear and obey.  Those who listen to the words of God, and do not do them, are foolish.  Read Matthew 25, which speaks of doing good deeds to others.  Read the book of James.  Unfortunately, this theology, as it is taught to people from a young age, gives them a bias where they pass over these commandments and teachings with a blind eye.  On this point, the Catholic Church is right.

There is an Afterlife of Heaven and Hell

There is life after death.  We will rise in a new spiritual body.  When this occurs the thoughts of our mind, our innermost nature, is completely revealed.  Nothing remains hidden.  Not only that, external restraints on our actions are removed.  We will go to the place that matches our innermost nature: this will be either heaven or hell.  In addition to heaven and hell, there is a spiritual world between the two which all who die enter immediately after death.  In many cases, souls who have died who enter this region are not prepared for judgment.  Thus periodically souls are judged and arranged en masse, where they are judged all at once.  This occurs when the equilibrium between heaven and hell become imbalanced: it is known as the Last or Final Judgment.  This occurs in the spiritual world, not here on earth.  There is no such thing as the end of the world.  There is such a thing as the end of a world age, where the old faith dies and new faith is born anew.

There is a Hidden Spiritual Sense in Scripture

Fundamentalists tend to be stuck at the literal meaning of scripture.  While there is a literal sense to scripture, scripture has multiple levels of meaning.  Scripture was written through a series of symbolic correspondences, where the literal words are symbolic of higher spiritual ideas.  And this is the subject matter of most of the revelation given to Swedenborg: it is to show how and why scripture is Divinely inspired, how it is different from other books written.  Word by word, verse by verse, Swedenborg spent many years to prove and reveal how scripture is Divinely Inspired - most of it is in his massive work, Heavenly Arcana, also known as Arcana Coelestia.  It means "heavenly secrets."  And it is beautiful for those who are willing to open their minds: because these are eternal spiritual truths, with immediate application to one's life.  Sort of like the writing and poetry of the Sufi mystic Rumi.  When scripture is read, there is inner communication with the angels of heaven, although we are not aware of it.  This revelation of the inner meaning of scripture is the Second Coming.  In the First Coming, the Word of God was revealed in human flesh.  In the Second Coming, the Word of God is now revealed in the Bible.  It is available to all, who seek to learn of the revelation.

There will be Opposition between the Old Churches and the New

Given the points I just said, is the old faith of Christianity compatible with the new one?  No. Unfortunately over the centuries, much of traditional Christianity has become corrupted. Which explains why many have left it. There are, however, exceptions, some churches are more open minded than others.  Scripture states, when Jesus comes, will He find faith on this earth?  It means when the Christian Church has become so corrupt, a new revelation will be made to reveal the truth.  You will either embrace it, or hate it.  So, from the religious leaders of the old faith, there will be intense opposition.  And censorship.  This is the reason why Emanuel Swedenborg is so unknown.  He made no attempt to establish a church, and wrote most of his works anonymously.  This Church, unlike the ones before it, will be established by the Lord alone through his angels, in a hidden way.  As the New Church of the New Jerusalem descends from heaven, from this heavenly revelation, the opposition of the older churches will be so intense it will lead to a lot of religious debate: this is known as the spiritual battle of Armageddon.  The truth that descends is portrayed in the book of Revelation as the White Horse that descends from heaven.  Once the truth is known, one can effectively fight against what is false.  The old cannot be mixed with the new: no one puts a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment; for the patch pulls away from the garment, and a worse tear results.  Nor do people put new wine into old wineskins; otherwise the wineskins burst, and the wine pours out and the wineskins are ruined; but they put new wine into fresh wineskins, and both are preserved. (Matt. 9:16-17)

Saturday, October 27, 2012

How Truth and Actions have a Ripple Effect

Jesus once said, "You shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free."  The truths that we know, the truths that we are taught, lead and guide us how to act.  Religion is not just belief.  It is action in which the will and thought commits an intent.  Intent, will & thought, action: Emanuel Swedenborg called this end, cause, effect.  In every action that is committed, in the afterlife we will be judged by our intent in committing the action.  Do you do good to appear good to others, for honor and sake of reputation?  That is evil.  Because that is serving the love of self, which is opposite to the love of God.  Did you do something for the sake of others?  That is good.  Did you do something for the sake of the good or need you saw inside the other person?  That is even better.  Because the good inside a person originates from God: and doing something to server that is the love of God.  It is important that actions serve a useful purpose.

In the afterlife review, one can see how our smallest of actions have a ripple effect.  This is also known as the "butterfly effect."  Our deeds, the work of our hands, can have an effect in ways that we do not even see:

It is not until one's life is brought into correspondence with a true intent, that the intent becomes living:
"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).
End, Cause and Effect make one, but are distinct from each other:
So also it is in the spiritual world; as the end, cause, and effect are distinct from one another, so in the spiritual world are love to the Lord, charity toward the neighbor, and the works of charity. When these three become one or exist together, the first must be in the second, and the second in the third. As in the works of charity, unless charity from affection or the heart is interiorly in them, they are not works of charity, and unless love to God is interiorly in charity, it is not charity. (Heavenly Arcana, n. 5608-3).
Any theology, philosophy, or religion which specifies belief only, this spiritual correspondence is broken.  In this matter, the Protestant theology falls short.  Matthew 25 speaks of the final judgment, where those who spoke in God's name, and confessed him on their lips, were rejected because they did not commit their beliefs into action.  These passages of scripture, and many others, Protestants pass over with a blind eye since they make the will of man nothing, as if humans were passive subjects with no ability given to them in the will.

The truth shall set you free.  How important is the truth?  Truth fights against what is false.  When the truth exposes falsity, especially religious falsity, people get threatened. I would like to point to a beautiful butterfly effect of this world, Malala Yousafzai:

In 2009, at the age of 11 or 12, Malala began writing a blog for the BBC talking about her life under the Taliban, documenting their attempts to take over a region of Pakistan, and promoting education for women.  Most take child education for granted.  And for promoting education for women, the Taliban sent some young men, whom they probably brainwashed with their ideology, and shot in the head.  Miraculously, she survived and is currently recovering in a hospital in the United Kingdom.  And what began as a small butterfly  effect, began to ripple across the world, as more people became aware of the importance of having education for women.  In that part of the world - India being the worse in this regard - many women are married off at a young age, without knowing what they are getting into, resulting in many loveless marriages, or worse.

So although this event has brought about universal condemnation, understand that the people who committed this act thought they were doing the right thing.  In other words, they made use of Islamic Sharia law to justify their actions.  We act according to the truth that we know: and at times, what we think is true is actually false. Truth or falsity determines one's actions.  And once someone has persuaded their mind that something is true, when it is actually false, it is very hard to change it. There are brainwashing and propaganda mechanisms that make effective use of this.  After the failed assassination attempt, the Taliban issued a public statement defending their action, and stating that they would do it again to finish her off.  Why? They then started to cite passages from Islamic Sharia law:

The Taliban statement further challenges – with Quranic and religious references – condemnation of the assassination attempt on the tender-aged girl, adding that it is a clear command of Shariah that any female playing a role in “war against mujahideen” should be killed.
“If anyone argues that she was female, and then we can see the incident of killing of wife by a blind companion of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) because she used to say demeaning words for the Prophet and the Prophet praised that act,” it argues equating the TTP act with that of a the prophet’s companion.
The statement goes on to defend the attack with a reference from the time of Hazrat Khizar, a revered figure in Islamic history who was described as a righteous servant of God and endowed with the qualities of unmatched wisdom and mystic power.
“If anyone argues about her young age, then the story of Hazrat Khizar in the Quran (states that) while traveling with Prophet Musa (AS), (he) killed a child. Arguing about the reason of his killing, he said that the parents of this child were pious and in the future he (the child) would cause a bad name for them,” adds the statement. (from

So where does Sharia law come from?  For the most part, it does not come from the Quran, but a set of oral traditions known as hadith.  Different sects of Islam have different sets of hadith, and for the most part they were gathered together in the 8th or 9th centuries.  They are similar to the set of traditions set down by the Jews in the Talmud: they are second or third hand, outside of scripture.  There has not been much literary criticism of the Quran or hadith in the Islamic world, but western scholars who have examined the hadith have concluded that not only are they unreliable but in many cases apocryphal. Despite the attempt to trace the source of traditions to a reliable line of witnesses, many false stories have crept in.

Most Islamic scholars will probably agree this is a distorted use of Sharia law.  In addition to promoting education for women, the Taliban were also upset with Malala for documenting Taliban atrocities in the region...  "men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil" (John 3:19).  As Jesus said to the Pharisees, "you have made the commandment of God of no effect by your tradition." (Matt. 15:6).  It was from religious tradition that the Jewish leaders decided to kill Jesus.  All of God's commandments are summed up in the Decalogue, you do not need to follow a complicated and unreliable oral tradition.  The sixth one is, "Thou shalt not murder."  Such things as the Talmud or hadith are worthless in comparison with scripture.  And the Quran, by the way, commands Muslims to follow both the Torah and the Gospels.  But the religious leaders hide this from most Muslims, and falsely state that the Bible has been corrupted, ignoring modern scholarship on this issue.  But that again goes against the Quran - it states the Torah and the Gospels are the words of Allah, and states that the words of Allah cannot be corrupted.  No wonder education outside of religious schools is viewed as a threat.

It is easy to point the finger and see what is wrong in the Islamic view of the Taliban.  But that is what they grew up with. Instead of pointing the finger, can we take this, look inwardly, and try to see what is wrong with the religious beliefs that we hold to be true?  When one sees what is false, then the truth shall set you free, and you will be free to act, free to let another butterfly free with the work of your hands.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Big Bird, Binders, Bayonets....and Mormonism?

Is it me, but does't this U.S. election seem a little strange?  Let us summarize, very briefly, the big issues that came up in the last three presidential debates.  First, in order to solve the federal deficit, Romney said he would fire Big Bird.  That means we can celebrate this coming November:

In the second debate, in order to find qualified female candidates - I am not exactly sure how this one came up - Romney mentioned "binders full of women":

And in the third debate, Romney mentioned how are Navy was smaller than it was in 1916.  Obama responded: “You mentioned the Navy, for example, and that we have fewer ships than we did in 1916. Well, Governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets, because the nature of our military’s changed. We have these things called aircraft carriers, where planes land on them. We have these ships that go underwater, nuclear submarines.” Ouch.

A bit unfair? Lets not forget what Romney did while he was at Bain company: Bain would acquire struggling companies, fire its workers, put the company in debt, and then would have them declare bankruptcy.  In the process, Bain made millions.  Make no mistake: Romney is there to protect the interests of the ulta-rich. He specifically said he does not care about the interests of 47% of the population. They are the ones backing him.  And the problem with this country is the wealth divide is growing: the rich are getting richer, paying less back, and the burden is falling on everyone else.  We are still dealing with disastrous financial decisions made by allowing people to unfairly get rich off the common people, and off of taxpayers money.  The biggest threat facing this country is the growing federal deficit.  While the term "fiscal cliff" sounds ominous, its actually a good thing: it is forcing spending cuts and taxes to be raised.  To sustain our level of spending, the government needs to borrow 30 cents on every dollar spent.

I have not been following politics so much, but one thing I noticed is that Romney shifted to the center during the debates from the far-right.  This threw Obama off in the first debate.  The impression I get is that this man will say anything just to get elected.  But his mannerisms and behaviour reminded me of something: how the Mormon Church trains its missionaries to present a very falsified view of their Mormon religion to potential converts.  It is so skewed, that Mormons themselves do not know a lot about their own religion, because the leadership makes a concerted effort to keep it hidden from them.  How much do I know?  I used to meet with two other guys and we would debate religious topics, or anything else under the sun.  One of them was a Jew, the other was Mormon.  Coincidentally, the Jew would eventually go and work at Bain company, if I remember correctly.  So we had a lot of interesting conversations.

Being open minded, I told the Mormon I would examine his religion.  Of course he was overjoyed to hear this, but I do not think he knew what he was getting into.  I have read the Book of Mormon back to back.  I have read The Doctrines & Covenants.  I have studied the history of the Mormon religion...and I decided to read some books written by ex-Mormons.  When I had told them I would be reading the latter, the immediate reaction was, oh please, do not read those books.  That just raised my curiosity.  What were they hiding?  A lot.  And the majority of people know very little about it.

Where to begin.  First off, the Book of Mormon is a fictionalized history of early America.  But that's not all. The Book of Mormon that Mormons read is not the original - the first version was full of spelling and grammatical errors, and it has gone through many changes.  As Mormonism began in the 19th century, early Mormonism was tainted with real racism.  If one reads the Book of Mormon, people who became sinful had their skin turn dark in color. Later on, they repented.  Their skin then began to turn whiter in color.  Straight out of the book, and they did not even edit that out.  How rampant was this?  Well until the 1970s, only white people were allowed into a certain order of the priesthood or a particular kind of leadership.  The Mormon Church was forced to change because as Mormonism grew in countries outside the U.S., there were not enough white people to fill positions of leadership.  I met one nice lady, she had left Mormonism but did not know much about it, and when I told her this she was not surprised.  As a young girl, she was taught a prophecy that black people would eventually come and destroy the Mormon temple in Utah.  And here we are, a Mormon who happens to be debating the first black president in history.

What else?  Mormonism used to allow polygamy.  How did this come about? Joseph Smith's wife protested about his other mistresses she discovered.  And after she discovered it, afterwards Joseph Smith claimed to have a revelation where God allowed polygamy.  Later on, under pressure from U.S. laws, the Mormon Church reversed its position and disallowed polygamy.  To some members, this did not make sense, so they split from the Mormon Church and continue to practice polygamy to this very day.

What else?  Oh, lets see, Joseph Smith decided to re-translate the King James Bible based on his revelations.  Of course, he added many sections of his own which show up nowhere in the original manuscripts.  Especially on the story of Joseph in the book of Genesis - he added a prophecy about the coming of Joseph Smith.  But when you show this book to the Mormon leadership, they will say that it is not a translation - even though Joseph Smith said it was a translation - but that he is just recording notes of his revelations.  Beware of prophets and leaders who use religion for the sake of their own ego.

Mormonism is pantheistic - they believe in multiple gods.  Jesus just happens to be the god of this planet.  And according to Mormon belief, Mormons who serve their church well will have a chance to be like a god in the afterlife, and rule as the other gods have done.

Am I making this up for the sake of politics?  No I am not.  I try to make sure I separate one's religion from politics.  But just like the Mormon Church, I have seen Romney flip-flop on several items.  When I happened to show this information to the Mormon who was trying to convert me, his faith was greatly shaken.  It was something that he grew up with.  He ultimately stayed with the church, more out of the fact that many Mormons were good people, and his entire family was Mormon.  A false religion is hard to break, especially one that one has grown up with as a child.  Vote as you wish, but please take a look at the facts for yourselves.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Scientific Proof of Biological Precognition

Here is some interesting news: science is catching up with religious revelation.  That is, it has discovered evidence that our biological system is precognitive.  Precognition has been an interest of mine for a long time: it is one of those oddball pieces of information we try to shut out and ignore as it does not fit in with our view of how time should behave.  Rather than proving the existence of God, which requires certain assumptions to be made, it is easier to prove whether or not prophecy exists.  There are of course prophecies in the Bible, but those who have read up on modern Biblical criticism will note that scholars try to put these prophecies as having been written after the fact.  While this can be theorized for many of the Biblical prophecies, there is one in the book of Daniel that is harder to explain away.  So rather than concentrate on Biblical prophecies, instead I gathered evidence for prophecy from the writings of Nostradamus.  Unlike the Bible, it is impossible to state that the prophecy was written after the fact.  I at first intended to just publish a book on Nostradamus prophecies, but after gathering all the evidence I discovered he embedded a numerical coding system in each prophecy, by which he had mixed them up.  This delayed publication for several years - but at least the first volume is now out as an e-book in The Decoded Prophecies of Nostradamus.

I had heard about scientific evidence for biological precognition before.  The experiment I heard about is that they took some subjects, and each subject would be randomly shocked by an electrical shock at random times.  Each subject was wired to electrodes.  Here is the interesting thing: when the scientists examined the data, a few milliseconds before a random subject was about to be shocked they measured something in the nervous system in the body - where the body started to tense up - right before the person was shocked.  It is as if something in the body knew beforehand it was about to be shocked.

So that is what I had heard long time ago, and forgot about it.  Well apparently a group of scientists decided to gather the evidence of these experiments that have been occurring over the past 24 years.  And now the evidence is harder to ignore.  Here is a quote from Science-A-Gogo:

After reviewing previous studies into "anomalous anticipatory activity," researchers at Northwestern University think the phenomenon might be related to recent findings in the field of quantum biology.Published in the journal Frontiers in Perception Science, the new meta-study is based on an analysis of the results of 26 studies published between 1978 and 2010.Researchers already agree that our subconscious minds sometimes know more than our conscious minds. "Physiological measures of subconscious arousal, for instance, tend to show up before conscious awareness," explained the review's lead author Julia Mossbridge. "What hasn't been clear is whether humans have the ability to predict future important events even without any clues as to what might happen."

Ok, so science seems to have gotten as far as showing significant evidence of precognition at least milliseconds or seconds into the future. They are still uncertain about whether this is possible years into the future. But those who have read the prophecies of Nostradamus already know the answer to that question.

So the evidence is there.  Science can see the effect.  The cause?  Utter silence.  Science can only study effects.  The causes in themselves are hidden. For those who have studied Swedenborg, the answer is already known.  Our bodies do not exist by themselves.  Our bodies receive life through spiritual influx. We are spiritual beings - that is what makes us alive.  Swedenborg describes this in the following passage:
Man does not know at all that he is governed of the Lord by means of angels and spirits; and that with every man there are at least two spirits, and two angels. Through spirits communication of man with the world of spirits is effected, and through angels with heaven. Without communication through spirits with the world of spirits, and through angels with heaven, and so through heaven with the Lord, man can by no means live. His life entirely depends on that conjunction. If the spirits and angels should withdraw, he would perish in a moment. (Heavenly Arcana, n. 50)
With each person, there are at least two angels, and two spirits:
There are at least two evil spirits and two angels with every man. Through the evil spirits a man has communication with hell; and through the angels, with heaven. Without communication with both a man cannot live a moment. Thus every man is in some society of the infernals, though he is unaware of it. But their torments are not communicated to him, because he is in a state of preparation for eternal life. The society in which a man has been is sometimes shown to him in the other life; for he returns to it, and so into the life that he had in the world; and from thence he either tends toward hell, or is raised up toward heaven. Thus a man who does not live in the good of charity, and does not suffer himself to be led by the Lord, is one of the infernals, and after death becomes also a devil. (Heavenly Arcana, n. 697)
For reasons too long to explain here, direct communication - in most cases - between man and angel is forbidden.  General emotions, feelings, intuitions - all indirect and implicit - allowed.  One reason for this is that it is important for each individual to choose according to their free will.  Another reason is that our inner person must be purified from sin before any direct communication is allowed.  As most dont bother to do this, most of us live in the dark.  So, even though direct communication is forbidden, lets return to that shock experiment.  Angels are highly intelligent and can foresee things a bit more than us, and their thoughts are extremely fast.  So even though the communication is not allowed, I can just imagine them saying, OK, we are about to get shocked.  And in those few milliseconds before that shock hits the body, the body tenses up.  Looks like their code of silence has been broken.  Who said one can't see angels dancing on the pin of a needle?  At least that's my theory.

And now, a session of unorthodox shock therapy with psychiatrist Marvin Monroe.  See if you can guess who will be shocked next:

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Orthodoxy and Heterodoxy: the True Ancient Faith

What is Orthodox?  Is it the belief that there are three Divine persons from eternity?  Or that there is One Divine Person, who Himself became incarnate?  Which one of these beliefs is Monotheistic, and which one is Tritheistic?  Should we let a church council of men tell us what is true, or should we not depend on Divine revelation?  Should not God reveal to us Who He is?  At what point in time did God reveal that He is more than one person?  Defining what is Orthodox requires a standard. But where should that standard come from? It should come from revealed scripture. Our view of scripture, however, is defined by doctrine, and without revealed doctrines scripture can be turned to support various heresies. We all come with a bias and what we have been taught as children. Religion is persuasive, and rarely do people self-examine their own religion.

I bring this up as someone pointed to my attention that an Orthodox minister in Pennsylvania did a podcast on "Orthodoxy and Heterodoxy" (podcast here) Among heterodox views he discusses the Swedenborgian or New Church view (go past the first 15 minutes).  While he got a general biography of Swedenborg right, there are a couple of main points on the theology of the New Church that he completely gets wrong. And unfortunately, he has apparently followed up the podcast with a book where he probably repeats the same misrepresentation of the New Church, or what was revealed to Swedenborg.  It is unfortunate, because there are certain points in the New Church theology that are very similar to the Orthodox view.  In the end of the podcast he does admit he may have "glossed" over certain issues and may have got some stuff wrong.

Lets first summarize where the podcast is correct on representing the New Church. It is correct that there is a Trinity which exists completely in one person Jesus Christ, just as there is a trine of soul, body and operation in each and every person. He briefly mentions that this is the same as Unitarianism but this is incorrect. It is more in line with Oneness Pentecostals, as Jesus is acknowledged as Jehovah in human form, and not as just some angelic messenger or prophet. He describes correctly the doctrine of "correspondence" - where everything in the material world is symbolic of something higher that exists in the spiritual world.  And although the New Church affirms the physical resurrection of Jesus Christ, for all others there will only be a resurrection in one's spiritual body.  The belief in a physical resurrection for everybody is based on a false literal interpretation of the Bible, not to mention it completely goes against known science.  According to the New Church view, the final judgment occurs in the afterlife, not in this world.  Recent experiences from many witnesses who have had a Near Death Experience confirms this view.

As our understanding of science increases, the debate over whether or not one shall rise in one's physical body or just a spiritual one will probably become a moot point.  Swedenborg stated that our soul is composed of a spiritual substance that does not interact with light.  So if there is an entire spiritual world out there (or inside of us) that does not interact with light, how would we ever see it?  We can't.  Science is currently grappling with a similar situation where it is dealing with something called "Dark Matter" - apparently the majority of the matter in the universe comes from matter that does not interact with light. Scientists know it is there through gravitational lensing.  I am not a scientist, but I am wondering if space-time can become permanently "warped" without the introduction of Dark Matter. I don't think this has been proposed because thus far everyone follows Einstein's theory that space-time only becomes warped in the presence of matter. But if we look at evidence for Dark Matter, its shape is odd: it appears in long strings or filaments in the paths where the centers of galaxies have passed, if I have read correctly. As a black hole passes through space, does it permanently warp it? I bring this up because Dark Matter is known to exist from its gravitational effects. I remember someone telling me that at time of death, there is mysterious slight drop in one's body weight. Unfortunately I cannot find the study that mentions this finding. Is there Dark Matter inside of us? Interesting thought. Believing would no longer be seeing: there is a limit to our physical senses.

So returning to that podcast. Here is the first point that the Orthodox minister completely gets wrong on the New Church, and I will just quote him verbatim:

[The New Church view is that] "Christ is the greatest manifestation of humanity, but did not atone for mankind's sin on the cross. His mission was not to redeem from sin, but rather to show the nature and reality of spiritual life, and to provide an example of it."

FIRST: Jesus is the greatest manifestation of Divinity, not humanity.  Man is made in God's image, and that is the reason why God could become incarnate in a human.  He took His Human and made it Divine. The podcast later corrects this statement as he states that the New Church view is that Jesus is God made manifest in human flesh. By "greatest manifestation of humanity" is thus meant He was the most perfect human being.

SECOND: Let us clarify what is meant by that he did not atone for mankind's sin on the cross. In the New Church view, the cross was the last temptation that Jesus had to suffer. There is no such thing as "vicarious atonement" where sins are transferred from one person to another. Rather, by making His Human Divine, Jesus was able to save all of humanity. God can now interact directly on each and every human being without the intervention of angels. He is our sole Mediator. Every time we repent and acknowledge our specific sins, and fight against them, the Lord acts inside of us to fight against evil. That is how humanity is saved. It is not through lip-service, but by actual repentance. (Protestant theology, by the way, has a tendency to stress belief only or lip-service, and states that we are a passive subject where there is no will-power to act. I digress again.)

THIRD: I have no idea how he came up with this statement: "His mission was not to redeem from sin, but rather to show the nature and reality of spiritual life, and to provide an example of it." This is completely false, and I have no idea where he got this viewpoint. It looks like he has not read Swedenborg's writings, and might be depending on second-hand information. The sole mission of Jesus was to redeem all of humanity against the threat of eternal damnation and hell. Swedenborg goes further: he was told that if God did not intervene, humanity would have sunk into such depravity and evil that the entire race would have been destroyed. God intervened to save humanity and redeem all from sin. We participate in that salvation by actual repentance.

A more conciliatory view would have been how Swedenborg's writings reveal many of the inner Christian mysteries that have not been properly understood. But lets remove any doubt that this last statement is false.  I will quote from "True Christian Religion", paragraph #3:

Jehovah "descended and assumed the Human, to the end that He might reduce to order all things which were in heaven, and all things which were in hell, and all things which were in the church; because at that time the power of hell prevailed over the power of heaven, and upon earth the power of evil over the power of good, and thence a total damnation stood before the door and threatened. This impending damnation Jehovah God removed by means of His Human, which was Divine truth, and thus He redeemed angels and men; and afterward He united in His Human Divine truth with Divine good or Divine wisdom with Divine love, and thus together with and in the glorified Human returned into His Divine, in which He was from eternity."

Later in the podcast he states that the final judgment after death is "self-realization" based on one's choices, and God will not judge or condemn anyone. Let us clarify that: we are all born with a conscience, and that conscience will judge each and every one of our actions. We have conscience due to the inflowing of the Divine Truth into our soul. Many who have come back from a Near Death Experience state that went through a life-review in an instant, where they saw the impact of all of their choices in life. All of our actions will be judged according to the Divine Truth. Our internal state of being determines where we go.

Next, he states that all who are married in this life will continue with the same spouse in heaven. This is not completely true. You will have a soul-mate as long as your mind and heart loves the other. Some marriages are not by choice, and I have seen many marriages that were arranged where the partners hate each other's guts. In many situations, it is wiser to stay together for the sake of the children - there are thus many "apparent" marriages on earth that become dissolved in heaven. I am not condoning divorce, but the situations where that is allowed is again beyond the scope of this article. As for marriages in heaven, he states that this goes against Jesus' teachings on the matter, but in that case the words of Jesus have an internal spiritual meaning. This is fully discussed in the work "Angelic Wisdom concerning Marriage Love."

Lastly, he states that Swedenborg and the New Church have a tendency to spiritualize everything, divorced from the material.  This again is not true.  A true spiritual life must live in conjunction with its outward material life.  You cannot just believe and continue to live in sin, and Swedenborg stresses this over, and over, and over again.  Belief only is NOT faith, you have to live by what God has commanded.  Moreover, there is conjunction between the spiritual and physical world through symbolic rituals.  This is one major point where the New Church and the Orthodox Church agree upon and he gets it wrong.

On a positive note, he recognizes that those that belong to the New Church are encouraged to pay attention to dreams, prayer and meditation: he thus sees that this strong mystical tradition is compatible with the Orthodox faith. He also recognizes that both the New Church and the Orthodox Church recognize that scripture has an internal spiritual meaning. So, I have some hope that in the future there will be better understanding, and a better dialogue.  Of the three main branches of Christianity, Catholic, Protestant, and Orthodox, if I had to pick one I would prefer Orthodox.  Unfortunately, as long as the Orthodox Church holds onto the Nicene Creed I could never join that faith. I would have hope if the Orthodox church would relegate that creed to a footnote in an obscure theological thesis. If theology was comparable to the Java language, that creed should be "deprecated." Still there but never used any more, because the designer of the API did not think things through correctly. There is a previous entry in this blog on the Nicene Creed, how it is a corruption of the original Apostles' Creed.  So if one wants to return back to the True Ancient Faith of Christianity, let us go back not to the fourth century of the Nicene Creed, let us go back to the first century, where it was recognized that the Son was not born from eternity, but in time, to the virgin Mary. Let us go back to worshiping one God, Jehovah, who has become manifest in human form.  The New Church seeks to restore the original message of Christianity: my prayer is more people will know about it.

He numbers those that belong to the New Church worldwide at about 65,000 - or even less, maybe 30,000. He then wonders if any were present to listen to his speech. But no one should care about numbers. As Anatole France once said, "If fifty million people say a foolish thing, it is still a foolish thing."

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Nostradamus Prophecies and Petrodollar Warfare

For those who are familiar with the prophecies of Nostradamus, or who have studied them, the last big chunk of remaining prophecies that remain to be fulfilled concerns a great war between the West and East.  In one passage, Nostradamus states that this great war will last 27 years.  It is from these prophecies that on the CBS documentary, Mysteries of the Ancient World, that I said we should expect an eastern alliance between Iran and China.  I did not consider how this would happen, but I had told the producers that this would be the event to look for in the future based on the track record of Nostradamus.  Here is the clip:

Do not misinterpret my views on Islam from this clip.  I consider Islam to have happened from Divine providence, to help eliminate idolatry and replace it with monotheism.  The Antichrist I am talking about here will have a very distorted philosophy, and will use religious hatred in his ascendancy to world power.  Religious hatred is powerful - it brainwashes people's minds into thinking that killing other people who are different is OK.  My closest friends tend to be Muslim, as they follow practice their religion more diligently than I have seen than Christians in the west. Remember, brainwashing and propaganda will always precede the war or acts of genocide, in order to justify it.  The apartheid situation in Israel is not going to help the situation.  Pride always precedes the fall, and Jews should not consider one race as superior or better than others. Remember, we are all children of God.  Remember the Good Samaritan.

So, to understand why wars take place, and how to predict the wars of the future, consider this: the U.S. dollar is a fiat currency.  That is, there is no gold to back it up.  Instead, in the world economy today most nations must buy their oil using U.S. dollars.  So it is not really a fiat currency, it is a petro currency.  But still, the U.S. can publish money at will.  Consider the economics of the petrodollar: it explains the war in Iraq, the war in Libya, and the current sanctions on Iran.  I have been researching petrodollar warfare recently, and I found two great youtube videos that explain it in a simple manner.  See them below.  The second one explains the connection between Iran and China.

So, after looking at the above videos, especially the second one, I am convinced that the sanctions on Iran have nothing to do with its nuclear program.  There is no evidence they want to use it for nuclear weapons.  Instead, it is in U.S. interests to stop the sale of oil in exchange for currencies that do not include the U.S. dollar.

So what to do?  This is a big problem.  I would suggest the following:

1. The U.S. should revive its nuclear energy program. NOW.  We have got to reduce our dependency on foreign oil.
2. Invest in alternate energies.  But right now, nuclear energy is the only viable alternative.  Governments should provide tax credits for those who buy hybrid cars.
3. Recognize and resolve religious hatred.  Promote a better understanding of Islam and stop demonizing it.
4. Recognize and resolve racial hatred.  The state of Israel, like south Africa was, is an apartheid state.  This racial hatred is hidden within a religious facade.  Not an easy problem to solve here, the only way I see to resolve it is to have a single state, where both Jews and Palestinians enjoy rights as equal citizens.  That is a big step, which requires a big shift in attitude.  Telling someone that they should "cease to exist" is not exactly a good start for negotiation.

So how to move away from a petrodollar economy?  I do not know.  Russia and China are already moving away from the U.S. Dollar.  All currencies should be based on hard goods.  In the case of the U.S., we ran out of gold.  But gold is not the only option, there are other metals, such as silver.  This is something I will be researching more in the future, if someone can point me to a good economist on this please let me know.