Hank and Eve

A long, long time ago there lived a gardener named Hank. He cultivated a special garden. It wasn’t an earthly garden of tomatoes and rutabagas. Rather, it represented the abundance and fruitfulness cultivated in his heart and mind.

The beauty of this inner garden came from the fact that it allowed room for God’s Tree of Life to grow and take a center position. God’s tenets of life were the central focus of Hank’s rich inner landscape.

But one day Hank started to change his focus. He began to feel lonely and that he was missing something important. Hank soon recognized that he needed to start forming his own ideas about reality. So he complained to God that what he now most wished for seemed impossible under the current setup.

Not long after Hank’s complaint, he noticed that a new type of tree appeared at the center of his inner garden. The more that Hank embraced and focused on his own power of discernment, the further God’s Tree of Life was moved out to the edges.

But Hank also wanted a partner who could offer constant confirmation to his new worldview and be his enabler. So he asked God for a “suitable helper.”

Meanwhile two angels were watching intently at all this. One angel turned to the other and said, “Good grief, what Hank is asking God for is the ability to imagine what reality is rather than to know from heaven what is real.”

The other angel replied, “Yeah, Hank is asking for the ability to imagine and dream up reality, even if it means deceiving himself. I wonder what God will do next?”

God then spoke to Hank in a monotone voice, saying, “Your eyelids are getting very heavy. You are starting to feel sleepy.”

“Holy Cow!” said the first angel. “God is putting Hank into a deep trance!”

“Well, how else is God going to give Hank his wish, unless He puts him in a state of diminished cognitive capacity?” remarked the second angel.

God then said to Hank, “I am going to count to ten. When I snap my fingers you will see a beautiful woman before you.” Then God snapped His fingers. When Hank opened his eyes he saw his true love.

“What is Hank looking at so fondly?” asked the first angel.

“I think Hank is seeing his fantasy come true,” answered the other angel. “It is now the object of his affection. It is something he wants to be married to—the seduction of his own self-importance. “

Hank had a hypnotic look in his eyes, and as if seeing something beautiful in his head, blurted out, “Eve—my beautiful wife, Eve!”

Hank was now very pleased with himself that he had found his one and only true love. Together, Hank and Eve went off to visit that new tree that was now growing in the center of Hank’s inner garden. Together they would eat of the fruit of a new worldview. This was a belief system whose ideas they would swallow whole.

“Gee,” said the first angel, “why would God allow a man to deceive himself so?”

The second angel replied, “God merely gave Hank what he wanted. Free will is a gift of God’s love. Without free will a person cannot choose between right and wrong and could not ultimately be saved. So, God protects free will more than anything else, even if it means some bad things will inevitably result.”

“Yeah, but this makes our job much more difficult,” said the first angel. “Before we can begin to tell people to choose to be good, we will now have to convince them of their diminished cognitive capacity, which keeps them living in a trance state. As science and technological advances are made in the future, who the heck will believe us?”

With a shrug of the shoulders, the other angel replied, “Well in the future, if the world continues to suck, perhaps that will help us to snap people out of their unflattering predicament of being asleep at the wheel.”

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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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15 Responses to Hank and Eve

  1. sami Alam says:

    it was one of the most wonderful posts i’ve seen…
    outstanding balance of stuff….
    Amazing work….

    Visit mine and plz plz plz post your comments…

    Thank you…i’ll b in touch….

  2. thegodguy says:

    Dear sami Alam,

    Thank you for your support! I will pay you a visit in the near future. My upcoming book “Proving God” and its promotion is taking up most of my time.

    Spiritually yours,
    TheGodGuy

  3. Glenn Schoen says:

    Dear TheGodGuy,

    Hank soon recognized that he needed to start forming his own ideas about reality. So he complained to God that what he now most wished for seemed impossible under the current setup.

    This might explain why you refer to yourself as a renegade Swedenborgian, as well as believe that new ways are called for. It could be said that one need only mention ‘Freudian slip’, and — abracadabra — one appears. But the truth is that they pop up left and right. I don’t look for them; they leap off the screen of their own accord.

    As an aside, do you believe there is something wrong with using the senses and memory-knowledges to inquire into and investigate matters?

    Glenn

  4. thegodguy says:

    Dear Glenn,

    There is nothing inherently wrong with using the senses to investigate the world. In Hank’s case (who plays the role of Adam) the problem is using the senses ONLY – at the expense of seeking God’s instruction.

    This difference is symbolized by the serpent being forced to crawl on the ground (which Hank was starting to prefer) and the serpent being raised (vertically) up on Moses’ staff. In other words, the senses can be focused only on the world or also be oriented towards the heavens and God.

    New ways are called for because new understanding is called for. There are no “slips” in my story. Everything was written to convey new and precise insights – even for Swedenborgians!

    Few people grasp the theological relationship between salvation and hypnotism (God putting Hank into a “deep sleep”). The subject in the above blog post separates the men from the boys!

    Spiritually yours,
    TheGodGuy

  5. Glenn Schoen says:

    Dear TheGodGuy,

    You make reference to ‘new and precise insights’.

    If they are indeed ‘new’, then no one else has been aware of them. This means that — if they are important — it is incumbent upon you to do more than merely claim that they exist.

    And if they are ‘precise’, then surely they can also be articulated.

    Or are you in the camp that holds that hiding is revelation?

    Glenn

  6. Sue says:

    I’m reading a book that reveals to me how much I didn’t know about Swedenborg. And it’s making me understand you guys a lot better (GG and some commentors). I keep coming across phrases that come straight from these conversations.

    Lamm’s Emanuel Swedenborg – have you read it? (Of course, I know you have). He has this weird way of quoting Sw. without quotation marks right in the middle of his paragraphs, which makes me say to myself “hey, that’s what GG said” or “that’s what Glenn keeps saying”, etc. because I think Lamm is talking. Then I realize he’s quoting. So you are possibly getting your ideas from Sw. rather than Lamm. (kidding).

    So, I stand corrected on a few things. I might forget them later, however, and repeat myself, so I’ll concede now and th

  7. Sue says:

    oops – hit comment.

    So, I’ll concede some points now. But later possibly go back to my wacky opinions that I do so love.

    Lamm puts it all together in one volume – all of Swedenborg’s theology. Which makes it easier to realize. Usually I’m following Swedenborg and being amazed, but evidently not seeing the whole picture.

    Lamm has the funniest comments in here. I’ll spare you for now. He doesn’t exactly “believe” in Swedenborg the way I do. But that makes it even better – he doesn’t believe it all but he is still massively impressed.

    So, GodGuy, you were right about God not being able to break his own laws. Lamm has a whole page about that (261).

  8. thegodguy says:

    Dear Sue,

    You yourself said I should embrace readers with wacky comments. I have and still do! So please continue to share with me and my readers your opinions!

    Spiritually yours,
    TheGodGuy

  9. thegodguy says:

    Dear Glenn,

    As to your last question above about whether I believe in “hiding things,” the Lord withheld info from the multitudes and revealed deeper secrets to His disciples.

    But in my case I am simply pre-occupied.

    Rather than waste my valuable time articulating that humans are under the spell of the world’s vanities and allurements I would prefer to watch Tiger Woods playing at the Masters today.

    I am completely captivated by the Tiger Woods scandal. So-o-o, I am in no mood to share my theological insights about hypnosis and human suggestibility.

    Pssst – how’s that for burying the bone (Adam’s rib) deeper?!

    Spiritually yours,
    TheGodGuy

  10. Glenn Schoen says:

    Dear TheGodGuy,

    Quite alright. I understand. Lexical definitions not infrequently pale in comparision to definition by example. And the one provided fits to a T.

    What’s that old hospital joke? “Wake up! I have to go take my sleeping pill!” Something like that, anyway.

    Pleasant dreams,
    Glenn

  11. thegodguy says:

    Dear Glenn,

    Scripture warns us many times to “wake up.” If people could really grasp that salvation and hypnosis were related topics they could gain a valuable new insight as to the human predicament.

    Even Swedenborgian ministers fail to take this problem into account. It is difficult to build one’s congregation by telling people they are in a trance. So they prefer to build self-esteem and tell their worshippers that they are loved and highly valuable to the Lord. Unfortunately, this permits people (and perhaps ministers) to preserve their pleasant dreams.

    The Lord came into the world to Glorify His human and to de-hypnotize the human race. Both the first and second points are articulated in my upcoming book “Proving God.”

    Spiritually yours,
    TheGodGuy

  12. Glenn Schoen says:

    Dear the Anti-Kreskin,

    Interesting shank shot in this thread. From top-to-bottom: God hypnotizes, the Lord dehypnotizes.

    It’s been said that the laborer is worthy of his hire, and $13.95 for seven years of work works out to just under $2 per year. Not that I’m a Scrooge, mind you. But why pay for entertainment when it’s free?

    Glenn

  13. thegodguy says:

    Dear Glenn,

    God indeed permitted mankind to fall into a “deep sleep.” This “fall” was a descent into a diminished cognitive state whereby humankind became separated from the operation of their higher spiritual mind (and lost contact with heaven).

    But sir, since you do not understand that hypnosis is a disconnection between cognitive functions—which the Lord allowed so that humans could separate their thoughts from their will—plus the intensification of a disconnected function you are left with the perception of a shank shot.

    A person’s corporeal, imaginative and rational cognitive functions can be disconnected from each other. When one of these separated operations is intensified, we get trance.

    Mankind’s separation from God is also a species of trance. The Lord wishes to re-establish the connection and influx between a person’s lower nature and higher nature. Self-examination, repentance and following the Lord’s commandments fuses back together man’s outer, inner and innermost functioning.

    True, I am enlightening and entertaining you for free—but that is what neighborly love is all about! Sharing new insights requires patience (plus a large book).

    Spiritually yours,
    TheGodGuy

  14. John J. says:

    I totally agree with Sami Alam. GREAT post, GodGuy! I appreciate your creative ways of sharing knowledge. You make a fascinating point here about what “hypnosis” really is and it gives me pause about how I go through the day… considering I thought I had my act together pretty well, it’s a little unnerving. Your blog is always a good read. I’m sure your book will be, too. Thanks.

  15. thegodguy says:

    Dear John J,

    One needs only to be cognizant of one’s attention and he or she will confirm that we live in various states of waking sleep – whether we go to church or not.

    Spiritually yours,
    TheGodGuy

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