Bless the LORD, O my soul. O LORD my God, thou art very great; Thou art clothed with honor and majesty: Who coverest thyself with light as with a garment… Psalm CIV
Divine love and wisdom are substance and form in themselves, thus the one and only absolute. Emanuel Swedenborg
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS 2
If Heaven and God are invisible to our physical senses, how can we know that God and Heaven are real?
In Sacred Scriptures, we are told that God and Heaven are within us: “Behold! The kingdom of God is within you!” And we can perceive Heaven through our will and understanding. This perception is effected through conscience and reason. When we experience unselfish Love and clarity of Mind, we are perceiving Heaven. And, when we die physically, we will be able to see for ourselves that what the Bible says is true because we will enter a spiritual atmosphere that corresponds to the quality of heart and mind.
How is it possible to know the real Truth when everyone has his/her opinions about what is True?
Today, the reason every person has his own opinion about what is True is because humanity fell into the spiritual darkness of self-love, self-derived intelligence and self-righteousness. And we know that, when we are in natural darkness, we cannot see the world as it is in physical reality. Well, when we are in spiritual darkness, we cannot differentiate what is True from what is false. Therefore, the only way to perceive Truth is by first transforming our love of abuse into love of use, love of the world into love of neighbor and self-love into love of God. When our heart is pure, innocent and unselfish, our mind becomes rational and harmonically organized and we are able to clearly see the difference between Truth and Falsehood, Good and Evil. God has communicated His Truth through Sacred Scriptures such as the Bible. The Truth is that God and Heaven are real. But Heaven is not physical; it is mental and spiritual. When we die physically, we enter into a real atmosphere that corresponds to our state of consciousness. Therefore, if our heart is filled with anger, hatred and lust, we are going into a hellish atmosphere. But, if our heart is filled with Love and Truth, we are going to a Heavenly realm.
Why did God allow humanity to degenerate and let hatred, cruelty and violence to proliferate on Earth?
Love can only be realized freely. Therefore, God must allow all human beings to exercise their freedom of will. Every human being is free to love or hate, free to believe what is True or what is false and free to do what is selfish and abusive or what is useful and unselfish. But our intentions, beliefs and actions have spiritual consequences because the universe is also regulated by means of Spiritual Law. These are Laws of spiritual Equilibrium.
The reason many people become dismayed by the disorder they see in the world is because they erroneously believe that the universe is purely material. But the universe is not only material; it is also vital, mental and spiritual. Hence, the state of our living, mental and spiritual soul is much more important than the state of our physical body. When we witness any seeming injustice, we should not be dismayed because Divine Justice will be fully realized in the end. Those selfish, cruel and mindless individuals who believe that there is no Justice in the universe and that they can enforce their own will upon others through maliciousness, threat, force and violence will be very surprised when they die. When they die, they will end up in a cruel, obscure and threatening spiritual environment where they will have to endure the company of hateful, mindless and cruel individuals like themselves. Although we may perceive temporary disorder, we should remember that God is still in full control of the universe. Therefore we should trust God’s Divine Justice and not what we perceive in the world.
What in summary is the Science of Light?
1 God is Infinite Oneness. Hence, there can only be One God who is the Father of All.
2 God is One Reality. But this Reality manifests as the sacred Trinity: Divine Love, Wisdom and Power. God is Real because His substance is Divine Love, His form is Divine Wisdom or Truth and His process is Divine Power. Divine Love is the spiritual motion that motivates our heart, Divine Wisdom is the spiritual light that enlightens our mind and Divine Power is the spiritual energy that enlivens our physical body.
3 God realizes His Reality by generating the finite and unbounded universe which is only an image of Himself. The material world reflects Love, Wisdom and Power. Hence, every being has substance, form and use. The perfect reflection of God is Heaven. This is why Heaven consists of three levels: the Celestial Heaven of Love, the Spiritual Heaven of Truth and the Natural Heaven of Use.
4 Only God is self-existent and human beings are only recipients that are able to receive and freely reciprocate Divine Love, Wisdom and Power. Angels in Heaven are simply human beings of previous ages that have freely realized a spiritual body of Love, Wisdom and Use, through their loving, unselfish, wise and useful intentions and actions on Earths.
5 Humanity fell from an innocent state of unselfish Love into the spiritual darkness of self-love, love of the world and love of abuses.
6 But, 2000 years ago, God descended into the world as the Messiah to redeem humanity, restore equilibrium and show us the way to return into the spiritual Light of Heaven. “I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.” John 12:44-46
7 We can only return into the Kingdom of Heaven by acknowledging and loving God, by understanding and believing His Word, by loving our neighbor and by transforming the state of our being through useful and unselfish intentions and actions in the world.
If man has freewill, how can the Bible foretell the future?
Since every thing is connected to everything else, we are connected to the heredity of our past as well as to the future state of the universe. And the future state of the universe is a Heaven of angels from the human race. Yet, although God knows our future destiny, we are still free to exercise our freewill. By our free choices, we are freely determining how we return into Heaven. Some people choose to return as soon as possible. Some choose a winding path. And some freely choose to wander and lose their way. However, God, through Divine Providence, is always steering us back in the right direction. And, if we are consistently moving away from Heaven and God, it is only because we have FREELY chosen to do so and we have no one to blame but our own self.
If God is Infinite Justice why are some people born in horrible circumstances such as inherited diseases or poverty, while others are born in health and wealth?
God generated the universe and free living beings to realize Divine Love. This is accomplished through a Heaven of angels from the human race where God is conjoined with other beings in Love, Wisdom and Use. This process has been unfolding for billions of years. Therefore, in order to enter Heaven, each one of us must first be born from the human race. In the Bible, we learn that humanity fell into self-love, love of the world and love of abuses. Hence, each one of us is not only born in different circumstances but we also inherit all the sins and flaws of our particular human ancestors in our DNA. But whether our inherited biological or physical circumstances are pleasant or unpleasant is inconsequential because our real purpose is to reform our understanding and regenerate our will so we can enter Heaven. In this regard, we are all equal because this work concerns the state of our inner soul, not our outer body. in fact, those who are born in health and wealth are more prone to sin because they are able to easily realize their selfish lusts and desires. Hence, they usually become addicted to alcohol or drugs because their life of vanity lacks any real meaning or purpose We were not born on Earth to fulfill our selfish desires; we are here to build a loving and wise soul so that we can enter Heaven. Whether we are born in a slum or a rich mansion, whether we are healthy, physically sick or deformed, in this regard, we are all equal.
Would it not be hypocritical to pretend to love others and perform useful or good works when we are still inwardly selfish and really wish to fulfill our selfish desires?
This is a good observation. But this is also the purpose of religion: to inform us about the nature of our present situation and teach us how to transform our being so we can be raised into Heaven by the Lord. In fact, this fundamental problem is addressed in the story of Jacob and Esau (Natural Truth and Good). Esau is red and hairy because he represents good actions. And Jacob represents natural Truth or obedience of the Law which we obtain from the Word of God. In the story, Jacob is able to fool his blind father by wearing artificial animal skins and pretending to be Esau. This is how he obtains the blessing of the first-born (Esau).
In the beginning of our reformation and regeneration, when we are still in self-love and love of the world, it is virtually impossible for us to do any good works sincerely from our heart. Since our will is still selfish (evil), we would not even derive any joy from doing it. Hence, we are told, through this story, that we must put artificial skins to imitate Esau (Good). This means that we must simply obey the Law (Truth) for a long while without expecting to derive any Heavenly joy from doing it. In fact, this spiritual struggle is how we transform the nature of our will from selfish (evil) to unselfish (Good).
Eventually, there comes a point when this work is no longer a struggle and Jacob (Truth) and Esau (Good) reconcile. We then notice that we are actually deriving joy from being useful and loving. This is a sign that we are not just reasoning about Truth intellectually; Truth has entered and transformed our very being or will. Our will is now organized in the form of Truth. When we sincerely derive joy from putting Love into effect in the world, we are in fact manifesting Heaven on Earth. And we should always remember that this unselfish Love is not ours; it belongs to the Lord. This means that we should never attribute any merit to ourselves when we perform these unselfish actions.
What is the difference between KNOWLEDGE, INTELLIGENCE, and WISDOM?
Heaven consists of three discrete levels: the Natural Heaven, the Spiritual Heaven and the Celestial Heaven. Natural angels are in love of Uses and spiritual Knowledge. Spiritual angels are in love of Neighbor (Truth) and spiritual Intelligence. And, Celestial angels are in love of God (Good) and spiritual Wisdom. All these angels were derived from the human race.
Some human beings only desire to know and obey the laws of Heaven and perform uses. These individuals eventually become Natural angels. Others are also interested in understanding Divine Truth and how the universe was designed by God. These individuals eventually become Spiritual angels because their mind is enlightened by Spiritual Intelligence. Finally, those humans who are motivated by Unselfish or Innocent Love eventually become Celestial angels because the Wisdom of God is written upon their own heart (will).
When we have spiritual KNOWLEDGE, we know what we should do. When we have spiritual INTELLIGENCE, we understand how we should do it intelligently. And, when we have spiritual WISDOM, we understand why we should do it. Natural angels are in the spiritual Knowledge of USES, Spiritual angels are in the spiritual Intelligence of CAUSES. And Celestial angels are in the Celestial Wisdom of PURPOSES. The purpose of the universe is to realize Divine Love. Its cause is Divine Truth or the Word of God. And its use is to generate a Heaven of angels from the human race by means of the interdependence of all created beings.
In Heaven and the Bible, Wisdom, Intelligence and Knowledge are represented by Sun, Moon and Stars. This is why the Lord said that before His second coming or at the end of the Age: “The sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken”? (Matt. xxiv. 29) By correspondence, this means that Unselfish or Innocent Love (which is organized according to Divine Wisdom) will be absent, Spiritual Intelligence will disappear from the world, and even Spiritual Knowledge will no longer be desired. And, when humanity will be in complete spiritual darkness, it will then realize that, without God and Heaven, its existence is purposeless, meaningless and useless. It is only then that humans will begin to seek Truth again.
What is the most important thing Swedenborg discovered from his observations in the spiritual world?
He discovered that our identity as human beings or who we are in reality is not what we believe and say; it is what we love the most and what we do. Hence, we may pretend and say that we believe in God and continue to live in sin. Many new age gurus also continue to teach that our mind is the most important part of our being. This is false. We are not what we think or believe; we are what we will, intend and do. If we really desire to acknowledge, believe and love God, we should intend and do His will, or unselfish Love.
In the spiritual world, Swedenborg observed people that recently died and thought that they were faithful to God, even some priests and ministers. They falsely believed that they merited to enter Heaven because they had faith on Earth. However, when they attempted to enter Heaven, they were seized with torment and agony and were compelled to return to their more obscure realms. These people’s faith was not true faith; it was a false or hypocritical faith. They pretended to have faith in front of others but inwardly they were selfish and vain. Unselfish Love is the substance of True faith. A faith that is not grounded in unselfish Love is insubstantial or useless.
Our soul is transformed by fusing our loves and beliefs through our actions. If we say that we believe in God and continue to do what is evil and selfish, our soul will become infernal and, after death, we will only be comfortable in the obscure realms of hell. However, If we really desire to enter Heaven, we should fuse our True beliefs with our unselfish love through useful actions in the world. This is the only way we will be able to enter Heaven and remain there comfortably.
In the New Testament, this idea is expressed in the parable of the Ten Virgins, five of which could not enter Heaven because they did not have oil in their lamps. The lamps correspond to their faith and the oil corresponds to Love. Those who had faith but did not have Love could not enter Heaven. If we do not generate enough unselfish Love while we are still on Earth when we die it will be too late and we will not have the capacity to enter Heaven.
Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. Matthew 7:21-23
You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you: These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules. Matthew 15:7
Why did God descend into the physical world as the Messiah (Jesus Christ) ?
JESUS is the Greek form of YESHUA, an abbreviation of YEHOSHUA or JOSHUA, which, in Hebrew means YHVH or Jehovah (God) is my salvation. Christ is the Greek form of Messiah (Savior). Jesus is also the Son of God or the Word manifested in the flesh of humanity.
There is only ONE GOD of the universe whose substance is omnipresent LOVE, whose form is omniscient WISDOM and whose process is omnipotent POWER. His WISDOM or WORD is His Son. The word “Son” simply means that His Wisdom or form comes from Himself. In Christianity, the Father (LOVE), Son (WISDOM) and Holy Spirit (PROCESS), or Sacred Trinity are the three aspects of the One and only God of the universe. The reason we are human beings with WILL, UNDERSTANDING and FUNCTION (USE) is because we are an image of God.
Divine Love involves and evolves. Thus, the Word of God descended or involved from the innocence of the Adamic Church, to the symbolism of the Noachian Church and into the sacred and physical rituals of the Israelitish Church. At the end of the Isaelitish Church, the Word had become completely materialistic. At that point, the Word of God was ready to evolve or to lift every human being into Heaven. This is why God incarnated as Jesus the Messiah in the physical world. God came down into the world to show us the Way to Heaven. This is why Jesus said: “I AM the WAY, the TRUTH and the LIFE. No one comes to the FATHER but by me.” John 14:6
Before the incarnation, God was only connected to humanity by means of correspondence and humans only had an abstract idea of God. However, after His incarnation as Jesus the Messiah, every human being could be fully conjoined with God through the Holy Spirit and Divine Human body of Jesus Christ. After the incarnation, humans could now have a concrete, real, personal and intimate connection with God. When we read Jesus’ words in the New Testament and see how he behaved with others, we are forming a real relationship with God. And through Jesus’ teachings and parables, we are being shown the WAY to Heaven.
By resisting the temptations of human flesh, the Lord also redeemed the sins of humanity’s past and reestablished equilibrium between Heaven and hell. If they choose, humans are now free to reform their understanding and regenerate their will by following the teachings of Jesus. This is how we are able to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.