God’s Ecology & Spiritual Gardening

Last Spring I delivered a talk to the Swedenborg Scientific Association (SSA) on the topic of God’s Ecology and Spiritual Gardening. It was based on the ideas and discoveries of scientist/theologian Emanuel Swedenborg.

Why would a theological topic be interesting to an audience with a scientific orientation? The reason is that if a non-physical realm like heaven has real ontological status, it must represent a full-blown ecosystem operating beyond the constraints of time and space.

Knowing that physicist John Wheeler put forth the idea that space and time were derived from a “pregeometric” condition. and that researcher Michael Heller was currently seeking to find how the laws which govern physics on the most fundamental level may well involve processes abstracted from their involvement with time and space, I felt that heaven’s ecology consisted of the same non-local and non-temporal processes that some pioneering scientists were pursuing. In other words, when you strip physical processes of their relation to spaces and times you get spiritual dynamics.

What is unknown to most of the academic world is that God’s Holy Word actually addresses the ecology of the spiritual world and its non-physical biosphere. This preeminent ecosystem is the proper domain of the human mind and spirit. (Many scientists believe the mind operates beyond physical space.)

I had already written a book, Sermon From The Compost Pile – Seven Steps Toward Creating An Inner Garden which shows how, when you abstract the Seven Day Creation Story in Genesis from its spacetime dynamics (literal meaning), you get the psycho-topological features of the human intellect and how its inner landscape of ideas can be organized by God into a beautiful garden of heavenly order and wisdom.

An individual finds true wisdom only when one’s ideas are ordered and orientated from spiritual principles. (When Adam and Eve ate the “forbidden” fruit they chose to ignore spiritual principles and were removed from wisdom to a “place” that contained weeds and thistles – hurtful ideas).

One’s soul is the soil of a heavenly garden or a wilderness.

On a deeper fundamental level, the Genesis story actually depicts the formation of the inner ecosystem of the human heart and mind. So human evolution continues beyond terrestrial constraints through following God’s precepts. Religion is God’s lawful strategy to extend the biosphere and bio-complexity into a spiritual realm (called heaven) through the higher-level cognitive functions of the human race. (The Lord’s parable of the “sower” also addresses this non-physical reality and the proper planting of spiritual seeds within a person’s heart and mind so that God’s truth takes root and is properly cultivated within an individual’s life or inner garden).

Heaven is not some place you go to, it is something you become. What you sew you reap!

Without the knowledge that the Holy Word can be interpreted as symbolically representing the spiritual cultivation of our human mental processes, much of the Lord God’s revealed wisdom will remain hidden from us. These deeper revelations will both clarify the doctrinal “mysteries of faith” and allow theology to be put into rational scientific language!

Causal processes proceed from a primal and real spiritual environment, which gives law and order to the natural world, its biosphere, and the human potentials for love.


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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2 Responses to God’s Ecology & Spiritual Gardening

  1. swword says:

    Hi GoodGuy,

    Your speech on “God’s Ecology and Spiritual Gardening” sounds interesting. Is there a copy of it on-line anywhere?

    You make some great points above about spiritual principles. In a similar vein, I believe that “… the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.” Heb. 11:3. This scripture is one of my favorites. Because I know this to be true, it leads me to think that everything that is “seen”, the things in the physical realm around us, were all created out of invisible “substances” of some kind. Or perhaps “spiritual substances.”

    This is a fascinating subject…


  2. thegodguy says:

    Dear swword,

    My PowerPoint presentation was videotaped and put on DVD. I also have copies of my book “Sermon From The Compost Pile” available for sale.

    My new website will go live in about a week. You will find it at:


    Ordering information will be there. Or, with your permission, I can make arrangements to send you the book or DVD or both. Simply send an email to:

    books @ staircasepress.com

    You are correct that everything seen in the physical world was created out of
    “spiritual substances.” Perhaps I can comment on this at a later time.

    Spiritually yours,

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