Apparently I missed a very controversial episode of GLEE last night. I enjoy the singing and dancing of this TV series but have many problems when they try to make post-modern points on social issues.
As one who follows the ideas of scientist/theologian Emanuel Swedenborg I have developed the habit of looking at things spiritually rather than terrestrially.
I suspect that allowing a “black transgendered actor” to give birth to the baby Jesus was meant to offset any efforts at marginalizing such individuals in society.
I was not totally offended by this strategy to go “over the top” concerning Christian sensibilities. Besides the technical problems of a male changing into a female so adequately to have human ovum and give birth, there are also spiritual considerations (which most people are not even aware of).
Swedenborg turned the Christmas story on its head!
You see, according to Swedenborg, being the Virgin Mary was not such a great thing. She not only served to bring God into the spacetime arena, she also served to create a physical (genetic) medium, finite body and corporeal/sensual mind, through which all the hatred and falsity of the hells could have access to and attack the Lord.
Since there is no ratio between finite things (and hell is finite) and the Infinite (God) Mary provided the ovum by which the Lord God could incarnate within a hotspot of human hereditary bullshit. The Glorification of the Lord (uniting His humanness with His Divinity) consisted of battling all these inner demons and conquering them. That is why when Jesus was becoming victorious on the cross, he called his mother “woman.” Mary had served her cosmic purpose.
With that in mind, I see a transgendered person equally capable of providing the Lord with inner demons. In fact, that is what each of us does when we bring the Lord Jesus into our lives—we give him all our crap!
Merry Christmas, everyone!
The transformation I am alluding to has nothing to do with the fact that Christmas gifts have gotten more technologically advanced over the years—like computers, video games and iPhones. The more profound change to giving and getting gifts that I am addressing is not a physical one—it is more personal.
It is a change in one’s inner reality.
These inner gifts have to do with changing the qualities of our character. These gifts change us from little children of the planet earth to God’s heavenly children.
Such transformed Christmas presents are invisible to the human eye, but quite apparent to everyone’s heart.
These are the kinds of gifts from God that transform people.
Merry Christmas, everyone!
I am talking about celebrating the Lord Jesus’ birth in two very distinct ways.
The first way is what all Christians do this time of year—celebrate the Lord’s physical birth in a humble manger. But the second, and most important way is to celebrate the Lord’s spiritual birth in your heart—a humble heart.
In that way Jesus’ teaching will grow and mature in your feelings, thoughts and actions. This is the real miracle of the Lord’s Advent—to transform humanity.
In fact, this second birth of Jesus is the secret behind the meaning of the Lord’s Second Coming!
Merry Christmas times two to you and yours!
I was introduced to the ideas of George Gurdjieff and Emanuel Swedenborg on the very same day. This allowed me to gain potent material for weighing and verifying their two systems of spiritual transformation.
I have become alarmed that many contemporary Swedenborgians are drifting away from the true dynamics of spiritual change. Swedenborg does indeed stress love and usefulness to society as heavenly duties but he also gives an account of our true situation—that we terrestrial humans have an insane heart and that we must gain a new heart from God.
In the same way that the Lord was scourged and suffered crucifixion, we too, must put ourselves in a similar negative position. This is done (spiritually) by searching out our own character flaws and praying to the Lord for the power to resist such negative influences. (This is the real meaning behind “carrying one’s cross.”)
In other words, spiritual combat is a fight against ourselves. (Walt Kelly’s cartoon character Pogo knew this when he said, “We have met the enemy and he is us.”)
In my opinion, Gurdjieff does not let anyone off the hook on this matter. If I had not studied and understood what he was communicating I would have overlooked what Swedenborg was saying in his work True Christianity (Vol. 2, chapters 7 – 10).
You see, genuine spiritual love can only be obtained through innocence. And innocence can only be obtained by sincere self-examination. And self-examination can only be obtained by waking up. And finally, being inwardly awake can only be obtained when we become de-hypnotized. Otherwise, our love will always be spoiled and worldly.
I cover these important issues in my books Proving God and Swedenborg & Gurdjieff.
Although I am a follower of Emanuel Swedenborg’s theology, I even seem to be moving in a direction that is different than many “Swedenborgians.” You see, I am hiding a rotten person inside me and I wish to expose him to my daily consciousness—no matter what the cost!
Have I lost my way?
However, I think the confusion comes from how we interpret God’s LOVE. First of all, only God loves! Any genuine spiritual love (for others) that we manifest in life comes from God’s heavenly influence flowing into our hearts—not from ourselves! Therefore, our spiritual challenge is to find ways of getting more of this Divine loving influence into our lives.
Does that mean simply doing more good deeds or displaying more acts of kindness?
Swedenborg makes it clear that we are to first ask for the Lord God’s help in seeking out our inner rottenness and removing it from our lives. In proportion to the amount of personal crud we remove, we make room for God’s love to take hold.
But many people think that such self-examination leads to a negative experience and personal degradation. This means that finding the truth about oneself is to be avoided. Huh?
I feel that if I have ever accomplished anything real in my life it is in seeking out my flawed character traits (rottenness). In fact, this practice has come to provide me with real satisfaction and sincere humility.
I admit I had to acquire a taste for seeking out my personal delusions and fantasies. Looking to God for affirmation and self-worth is not what makes an angel an angel!
Are we to suffer two deaths? Isn’t one enough?
We all worry about our physical death, so why does the Bible say that it is another death that we are to be more concerned about?
Actually our common language shows an intuitive acknowledgement that we can indeed experience two kinds of death.
We can also die internally if some idea or passion we cling to is proven wrong. In that case we see ourselves as “goners” even though our physical bodies may be quite healthy.
The Bible merely acknowledges that we have both a physical or outer life and a deeper inner life and that our inner lives are the most important. Unfortunately our inner lives often carry negative baggage, which must be removed so that new life can take root. When individuals say they are “reborn,” they are referring to the fact that something old has died within them and that something more important and vital has grown out of this “death.” A new inner life is the key to enjoying eternal happiness.
It is this same other death that Adam and Eve were warned about when they ate the Forbidden Fruit (swallowing whole a deluded worldview). Although they remained physically alive after that event (and thought they had dodged a bullet) something much deeper inside them was killed off.
If one doesn’t become more spiritual (overcome one’s inner flaws) this second death will be eternally hurtful because nothing noble has replaced it.
Scientist/theologian Emanuel Swedenborg also points out that “good” fruit is circumcised fruit. But how do you go about circumcising fruit? That is, how do you circumcise the actions of your life?
With a sharp knife?
Nope! A knife doesn’t go deep enough!
You simply purify your acts of compassion, friendship and concern. In other words you produce genuine good (circumcised) fruit when your actions come from innocence and giving credit only to the Lord God, rather than from some self-centered motive. Innocence allows good actions to become genuinely spiritual and not oriented to status, reward, reputation or any worldly (terrestrial) motives.
The angels of heaven not only love, they do so in ever-increasing levels of innocence to properly glorify and worship the Lord.