Thursday, April 25, 2013

The Basics of Swedenborg's Christian Theology

  1. Doug Webber wrote: 
    "... I would sum up everything under two principles: that God is one in person, who appeared in human form as Jesus Christ, and (2) it is necessary to live a life according to the commandments. And that is it! All of his writings revolve around those 2 principles."
    To which I replied:
    "Yes, that is indeed the a good summary of Swedenborg's theology. I would add a third basic principle: We are spiritual human beings meant for a spiritual human eternity of happiness, growth and use in the context of marriage and community. Note that I have highlighted human."

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Why the spiritual body is no greater an illusion that the physical body

Response to a reader who said that afterlife married relationships needed no more than a meeting of the minds and souls and, perhaps, a little bit of hugging and kissing

I believe that the human form is one of God's masterpieces and I do not know of anything in the physical universe that is more complex or beautiful. In the spiritual dimension we will be more than disembodied minds. We will have a substantial (though not physical) human form that corresponds to (is similar to) our present human form, which is one of God's fundamental ideas that is replicated (with a few minor differences) throughout out globe, throughout the physical universe, and through the after-death dimension of reality.

That being so, why would real sex be absent between married couples, when it is hallowed here on earth? For animals, sex serves the purpose of reproduction. For humans, it serves the additional purpose of ecstatic marital bonding.

I have read the Near Death Accounts and the immediate experience after death is of being a disembodied spirit. But that is only the first phase when the mind/soul/spirit separates from the physical body. After the initial phases reported in NDEs, the "soul" enters another matrix of reality. The tangible expression of this association is the spiritual body that is coherent with the other framework of reality. People who have had long after-death experiences report seeing cities of light, gorgeous physical landscapes etc. Of course, one may say that all of that (including the spiritual body) is an illusion. You would be partially right - the after-death "body" and "world" are  a lesser order of reality than God and the soul. But the same is true for the present physical reality that surrounds us, and the physical bodies we currently inhabit. These too are the "field" (Sanskrit: Maya) and the "objects" of experience unlike God (Sanskrit: Brahman) and the soul  (Sanskrit: Atman) who are the "subjects" of experience.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Perfect Introduction to Swedenborg

I have always been wondering how to introduce Swedenborg in a few minutes to someone who knows nothing about his teachings. I finally found the perfect video to do so. I recommend you view it in the full screen format.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Jesus' Appearance - not a long-haired Renaissance prince

What did Jesus look like?  Like a medieval European potentate with long hair? Neither  Jewish nor Gentile men sported hippie hairstyles.  Here is what 1 Corinthians 11:14 says:  Does not even nature itself teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a dishonor to him?

Wikipedia has a a comprehensive analysis of this subject, and a must watch video model of what Jesus might have actually looked like:


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Where is Sue?

Sue had such a wonderful blog Swedenblogian. But she did it again - a second time. She just folded her tent and left. She deleted her blog from the web. I have snippets of some of her articles - I wish I had more.

The first time she dropped out she said she had said everything she wanted to say about Swedenborg and that she wanted to do a blog on quilts. But after a while she started writing on religious topics again.

On the internet it is possible to disappear without a trace.

Where is she now?  Where are you, Sue? Rejoin the community - at least, let us know you are well - and why you turn your blog off from time to time...


Sunday, December 2, 2012

Economics and Psychology in Heaven and on Earth

While it might be  right that there is probably some form of money in the lower heavens for the exchange of value, one might also speculate that even in the lower heavens the basics are all free and people trade and compete for nice to have superfluities. In the higher heavens almost everything would be free except when one trades or competes congenially for sport, something akin to a Monopoly game or a friendly softball match. In the hells of course one would need to work for even for food because hellish beings would need that level of motivation to provide use to others.

Coming back to our current planet: why do we need money here? Because people are self-centered. Would communism work our planet? No - because people want the most for themselves at the lowest cost. If possible, the imperfect beings on earth would just take what they need without doing any good for others. Why do we need capitalistic competition on planet earth? Because people would take advantage of their customers if they did not have to worry about competitors offering the same goods and services. Having said that, communism (in the generic, non-Marxist sense) does succeed on earth in a limited set of situations: (1) Within loving families where members genuinely care about other, (2) Within small committed, highly motivated religious communities such as religious orders (Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Buddhist, Hindu, Sufi) or communes (such as the Protestant 'Twelve Tribes').

Monday, November 12, 2012

Crown of Churches

In response to this posting, here are a few thoughts:

The crown sits next to the head, while the necklace sits next to the heart. The New Church being the crown of Christendom merely means that the best understanding of Revelation and the Other World is found within the New Church. Those of us who have come to the Heavenly Doctrines from outside will testify to that. 

However, the New Church is not necessarily better and excelling in love compared to other Christian churches. As long as we do not expand the meaning of "crown" to signify that we are inherently better and less prone to evil than other Christians, it is still OK to affirm that we have a clearer and brighter light (understanding/head) than the rest of Christendom (and no thanks to us for that!).