We all know of the financial problems plaguing the European country of Greece. Then yesterday, I read a weird news report that described Greece experiencing yet another kind of plague. Apparently, a major highway in Greece was being overrun by millions of frogs! The irony here, from my perspective, is that this affliction of amphibians served as a wonderful metaphor for Greece’s financial woes.
This perspective was gained from studying the theological ideas of Emanuel Swedenborg, whose approach to biblical interpretation (exegesis) was that God’s Holy Word contained deeper levels of meaning. On these deeper levels, the message of the narratives in Scripture went beyond the literal and historical description and used each event to point out the changing qualities of the human mind and heart. In other words, the stories of Holy Scripture contained purely spiritual levels of meaning.
This deeper symbolic level is operational even in the Old Testament account of Pharaoh being plagued by frogs in Egypt. Swedenborg claimed that “frogs” represent a state of the human mind and spirit that reasons from false principles and “lower” or worldly precepts, rather than from God’s precepts.
I found it interesting that Greece’s financial problems were a direct result of faulty reasoning and worldly decisions. God did not play a role in these decisions. In fact, God seems to be playing less and less of a role within the European worldview. So the symbolism gets better and even more relevant as we look closer at all the elements of this situation.
The road that these frogs were amassing on is a major “northern” highway in Greece. According to Swedenborg’s understanding of Bible imagery, “north” signifies and represents individuals who are not of a church and in obscurity of God’s teachings. A “highway” or “road” represents a path towards some destination. Therefore, the full metaphor of the situation unfolding in Greece can be biblically interpreted as humankind’s attempt to find happiness from false reasoning and not seeking a spiritual or heaven-bound life. (The riots in Greece are not because its citizens are demanding spiritual benefits and heavenly perks.)
Human attempts at reaching some truly worthy goal (destination) are hindered by false or flawed reasoning, in the same way that any physical form of travel (as in cars) would be hindered by frogs hopping all over the road!
I am hoping that a new generation of politicians will appear on the scene that can truly adapt their decisions and lawmaking to harmonize with spiritual love. That will also require that each citizen adopt similar heavenly principles into their lives.
What an uphill climb!