Tiger Woods and biblical interpretation

When Tiger Woods turned pro and won his first Master’s tournament by such a wide margin I remember a sportscaster saying, “Tiger is playing on a different course from everybody else.” In other words, Tiger seemed to be playing on par three holes while all the other golfers were playing par five holes.

This is the same feeling I get when reading theologian Emanuel Swedenborg’s profound interpretation of the biblical narratives. He is simply “reading a different document” than everybody else.

So like Tiger Woods, who was actually playing golf on the same course, but from a higher level of God-given ability, Swedenborg read Scripture from a higher level of mind, also from a God-given ability.

Because inwardly, we humans are spirits living in a physical body, we all possess a spiritual mind deep within our natural—or worldly—mind. While living on the terrestrial orb called planet earth we tend to use our natural mind and its cognitive function when reading Holy Scripture. However, angelic beings read God’s Holy Word from the cognitive abilities of their spiritual minds.

In God’s Infinite Wisdom, He designed Scripture to be read by both men and angels—its stories contain deeper levels of meaning so that it can be interpreted literally by man’s natural mind and spiritually by angel’s minds.

What does it mean to interpret Scripture from a higher spiritual mind?

Angels live in a realm beyond time and space, therefore they can have no understanding of the physical events described by the literal meanings of the words used in the Bible stories. Instead, they derive an elevated meaning by which the biblical narratives remove themselves from all physical descriptions.

In the same way that the human spirit rises up after the death of the physical body, the literal words of the biblical stories pass away and their higher meaning arises when contemplated by the spiritual cognitive functions of angelic minds.

A simple example of this process of mental distillation is the phrase in Genesis “Let there be light.” Angels understand this statement not as God creating physical light in the universe but as God’s spiritual activity to bring humans out of the mental darkness in our inner world through enlightenment. In other words, angels interpret everything described in Scripture from a psycho-spiritual equivalent. Therefore the Genesis story of creation can serve God’s higher purpose of describing the spiritual process that takes place in a person’s inner world when he or she is being re-created and made anew.

It is the Lord God’s ultimate hope that the human race will someday make the extra effort to tap into their spiritual minds and have access to the deeper revelations given to angels. Such an event would bring about the Lord’s Second Coming—not as a cosmological event but a paradigm shift and upheaval within the human heart and mind.

As chef Emeril Lagasse says on his popular cooking show, “kick it up a notch!”

Website: http://www.staircasepress.com

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About thegodguy

EDWARD F. SYLVIA, M.T.S. Philosopher/Theologian Edward F. Sylvia attended the School of Visual Arts in New York and received his Master of Theological Studies at the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, CA and a Certificate of Swedenborgian Studies from the Swedenborgian House of Studies. He is a member of the Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences (C.T.N.S.) and the Swedenborg Scientific Association (S.S.A.). Award-winning author of "Sermon From the Compost Pile: Seven Steps Toward Creating An Inner Garden" and "Proving God," which fulfills a continuing vision that God’s fingerprints of love can be found everywhere in the manifest universe. His most recent book, "Swedenborg & Gurdjieff: The Missing Links" is an edgy collection of anti-intuitive essays for personal transformation that challenges and inspires. He has been a student of the ideas of both Emanuel Swedenborg and George I. Gurdjieff for over thirty years. Read more about TheGodGuy, his books and his ideas at http://www.staircasepress.com
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