THE INVOLUTION AND EVOLUTION OF LOVE
Due to the spiritual fall of mankind, our mind is no longer able to access and perceive the spiritual realities of Heaven. In the Golden Age, humans were in direct contact with the Heavens of their mind. And, in the Silver Age, they could still acquire this spiritual knowledge by means of the science of correspondences. They knew that everything they perceived with the physical senses corresponded to a spiritual reality. Swedenborg has restored this higher knowledge in his writings. When we understand the true structure of the universe, we emerge from the darkness and death of materialism and enter into an enlightened, living and meaningful universe.
Physicists are beginning to detect the limits of studying physical phenomena. In fact, when they searched for the ultimate source of matter, they needed to postulate the existence of higher dimensions. This essentially means that the universe is not purely physical; it is higher-dimensional. It is also not a coincidence that the smallest physical particle, the quantum of Light, is also known as “the quantum of action.” This is only because natural Light must be in correspondence with higher-dimensional or spiritual Light. The quantum of action must be in correspondence with spiritual action, Divine e-motion or Love. Since it is the only self-existent substance in the universe, Love continually returns into itself; it involves and evolves eternally like a toroidal vortex.
On the physical level, we know it is fire or heat which causes all physical transformation. But what we do not know is that this physical transformation is propelled by correspondence and influx from the higher dimensions of Love. It is spiritual heat or Love which causes all spiritual, mental and physical transformation. It is through the e-motion of Love that we are able to move from one state into another. We can even feel this spiritual fire within our own self. Love propels us to desire (will), think and do. By correspondence, this involution and evolution is manifested as radiation and gravitation in the physical world. All things are attracted and separated by magnetism and electricity as well as by gravitation and radiation.
The preexistence of higher dimensions implies that the material universe did not evolve accidentally; it evolved in correspondence with the higher-dimensional field of Love/Wisdom. DNA molecules are in the form of a helix because Love is a toroidal vortex. Minerals, plants, animals and humans evolved in correspondence with the field of Wisdom/Love because the ultimate purpose of the universe is to produce a heaven of angels from the human race. This is how God realizes His substance (Love). Our physical world is in correspondence with higher dimensions of mind and spirit.
We erroneously believe that our early ancestors were savages and that we are more intelligent and evolved than they were. However, the higher meaning of the Bible tells us that, although the early Adamic race may have been primitive, its state of being was innocent and pure. As a consequence, it had direct access to spiritual knowledge. The ancients knew that the Light that illuminated and heated their outer world was in correspondence with the Truth that enlightened their mind and the Love that warmed their hearts. This inner Light proceeded from the Spiritual Sun of the spiritual world. This inner sun was how the Lord God projected His Love, Wisdom and Power into the whole universe. The galaxies and stars that we can see in our outer environment are in correspondence with the inner Heavens that we may perceive with our inner mind and heart.
We should not think that correspondence is simply symbolism or analogy. Although the physical, mental and spiritual levels of the universe are discrete, they nevertheless continue to be linked by correspondence and influx. Correspondence is the link between higher and lower dimensions and spiritual and mental substances are even more real than physical substances. In fact, the physical universe was derived from the substance (Love) and form (Wisdom) of God.
Scientists believe that the Big Bang or initial state of the universe was a singularity. A singularity is where the gravitational field is infinite. And, if we assume that the universe is higher-dimensional, we can infer that the whole universe must be linked to the Infinite by means of curvature, correspondence and influx. Thus, the Infinite or God must be the center and source of all Being. Only God is self-existent; He is Infinite Being itself. In the image above, we can see that the universe and its substances were derived from God’s Substance (Love) and continue to be sustained, maintained and governed by correspondence and influx. Love proceeds or involves from God to produce the Celestial, Spiritual and Natural Heavens. These Heavens are then manifested by correspondence as Galaxies, Stars and Planets. Then Love evolves or returns to God through useful Plants, Animals, Human beings, Natural, Spiritual and Celestial Angels. All existential beings are linked through usefulness. Usefulness produces eternal joy in all creatures and this joy returns to God as Love. And, although the finite and unbounded universe is linked to God through correspondence and influx, God remains transcendent and infinite.
The universe is purposeful, meaningful and useful. Its purpose is to create a Heaven of loving Angels from the human race. It is meaningful because it is sustained, maintained and governed by the laws of Divine Truth (or Order). And it is useful because it realizes Love through the interdependence of all existential creatures. And since the universe was spawned from God’s Love, Wisdom and Power, everything in the universe is an image of God; every being has substance, form and power (use). Even physical substances have specific forms and powers (uses) that correspond to their particular substance. Minerals, plants and animals all have their own substances, forms and powers (uses). As human beings, our substance is what we love, our form is what we think or believe and our power (use) is what we do.
Now, God created the universe from His own substance (Love) in order to express His Love through Wisdom and Power. After many ages of involution and evolution, and through the influx of Divine Love and Intelligence, the universe was able to produce human beings or beings that are in God’s image. The mind of these primitive humans was innocent like that of a child; they loved and obeyed God intuitively (Genesis 1). But, since man had freewill, humanity eventually fell into love of self and the world. This explains why we are presently unable to perceive Truth within our mind and some of us even continue to believe that the universe is purely physical. Since the level of our understanding can never exceed the level of our will, our mind remains in the darkness of falsehood. We tend to lie to ourselves in order not to feel the remorse and pangs of conscience. But, in order to return into the Heavens of our heart and mind, we must repent and allow the Lord to transform our soul through spiritual temptation.
Like a mirror which reflects an image, the creatures that involved and evolved on the material plane of earth freely reflect Love, Wisdom and Use. And everything in our outer world corresponds to what is in the inner world of our heart and mind. The soil and minerals of the earth correspond to the principles in which our knowledge is grounded. Plants, trees, flowers and fruits are the knowledges that grow within our mind and lead to useful deeds. Fish correspond to our love for scientific knowledge and whales to scientific principles and theories. Useful and gentle birds correspond to meaningful and useful thoughts. And cattle, goats and sheep correspond to natural, spiritual and celestial affections. But what about all those toxic plants and fierce and unclean animals? They began to emerge when man fell into evil (selfishness). Poisonous plants correspond to useless and harmful knowledge while fierce and unclean birds and animals to reasonings from evils and affections from falsities.
We know that the natural atmospheres consist of earth (solids), water (molecules), air (atoms) and fire (light). These atmospheres are in correspondence with spiritual atmospheres or heavens within our mind and heart. In order to enter a certain spiritual atmosphere, our spiritual body must consist of the same spiritual substance. And our spiritual substance is what we love the most. When we are in love of self and the world, we only have access to the sensual knowledge of spiritual darkness (or hell). But, when we are in love of uses, we gain access to the Natural Heaven. When we love Truth, we may enter the Spiritual Heaven. And, when we derive joy from doing what is Good, we are able to withstand the Love and Wisdom of the Celestial Heaven.
I have been told from heaven that the earliest people had direct revelation because their inner natures were turned toward heaven, and that this was the source of the Lord’s union with the human race at that time. After those times, though, there was not the same kind of direct revelation, but an indirect revelation through correspondences. All their divine worship consisted of these; so the churches of those times were called symbolic churches. They knew what correspondences and representations were and that everything on earth answered to spiritual things in heaven and the church (or represented them, which amounts to the same thing). In this way, the natural elements that constituted their outward worship served them as means for thinking spiritually and therefore thinking with angels.
Once all knowledge of correspondences and representations had been lost, then a Word was written in which all the words and the meanings of the words are correspondences and therefore contain that spiritual or inner meaning in which angels are engaged. So when we read the Word and grasp it in its literal or outward meaning, angels grasp it in its inner or spiritual meaning. In fact, all the thought of angels is spiritual, while ours is natural. These two kinds of thought do seem different, but they are one because they correspond.
This is why, after we had moved away from heaven and broken the connection, the Lord provided that there should be a means of union of heaven with us through the Word. Emanuel Swedenborg [HH 306]
Image Credit: Hubble data: NASA, ESA, and A. Zezas (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics); GALEX data: NASA, JPL-Caltech, GALEX Team, J. Huchra et al. (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics); Spitzer data: NASA/JPL/Caltech/Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics